It’s time we start having some no-nonsense conversations in this country about synthetic opioids. After all, the country is in the grips of an opioid epidemic. No more trusting the word of misinformed doctors. No more “let’s take the pharmaceutical companies at face value.” No more believing the hype.
The Cold, Hard Facts About Synthetic Opioids
We need to be informed about the pain-killing narcotic drugs we’re taking. Why? Because they’re taking us out – one by one.
Millions of people around the country are addicted to synthetic opioids. Millions of others are doing time in prison because they were willing to do anything to get them. And, according to a report from our own government – given to the president of the United States – approximately 142 people die every day from an opioid overdose.
Yes, ladies and gentleman – it’s time to get real about synthetic opioids and start telling the ugly and deadly truth about the stuff.
Let’s get to it.
What are Opioids? A Simple Definition that is Easy to Understand
We could give you a super scientific answer about opioids and how they attach to opioid receptor sites in the brain. Or, we could bog you down with data about the damage opioids cause to your heart, liver, and kidneys. Want information about how opioids cause tolerance, withdrawal, and addiction? We’ll get to that later.
Instead, for now, we think you’ll appreciate a simple, straight-forward definition of what opioids are.
Opioids are a classification of narcotic pain-killing drugs that are derived from the opium poppy plant. This plant, which grows in tropical climates like Columbia, Mexico, and parts of Asia; contains natural substances called alkaloids. These alkaloids work with the body’s natural chemistry to block pain.
In short, opioids are prescription pain-killers. (We’ll provide a list of prescription opioids here shortly).
Is Heroin an Opioid? Are Heroin and Prescription Opioids the Same Thing?
When most people hear the word “opioid,” they think of heroin. We all know that heroin is a dangerous and highly addictive drug. Black tar heroin in particular is especially toxic.
We learned to stay far away from heroin as early as first grade. (Remember the D.A.R.E. program?) What they don’t tell you in elementary school, though, is that heroin and prescription opioids are basically the same thing. They both act as potent pain relievers. They both work on the same part of the brain. They both produce euphoric effects. You want to know they only real difference between heroin and prescription opioids? Heroin is illegal and prescription opioids are not.
You have to score heroin on the streets in dark alleyways from seedy characters. Prescription opioids? They come to you from nicely dressed doctors in clean, white coats. You pick them up in the middle of the day from places like Walgreens and CVS. They’re legal and if you have them in your possession in a bottle with your name on it, you don’t have to worry about spending the night in jail.
To clear things up, though, heroin is an opiate – not an opioid. Although it generates the same effect as prescription opioids, heroin is not classified as an opioid. What’s the difference between an opiate and an opioid? Let’s explain.
Opioid vs. Opiate – What’s the Difference Between the Two?
Many people use the word “opiate” and “opioid” interchangeably. This is a mistake. Although these two words sound the same and their definitions have a lot in common, they are quite different. We’ll give you an uncomplicated explanation. The difference between “opioids” and “opiates” tends to confuse a lot of people.
- Opioids are chemically created. They are manufactured in a laboratory. They are derived from opiates. They do not grow naturally. They are not found in nature. OxyContin is an example of an opiate.
- Opiates, on the other hand, are found in nature. They are natural. They are grown, not produced. You could find opiates wherever the poppy plant is grown. You don’t need a lab to get opiates. Heroin is an example of an opiate.
A List of Synthetic Opioids, Semi-Synthetic Opioids, and Opiates
There are two types of opioids – synthetic opioids and semi-synthetic opioids. Opiates are in a class all their own.
Let’s go deeper.
Synthetic opioids are manufactured in a laboratory with a chemical structure that is similar or almost identical to naturally-occurring opiates. Remember, synthetic opioids are completely manufactured. Nothing about them is natural.
Here is a list of some synthetic opioids:
Semi-synthetic opioids contain naturally-occurring opiates in combination with synthetic opioids. Part of semi-synthetic opioids are natural. The rest of them are chemically created.
Here is a list of some semi-synthetic opioids:
- Oxymorphone (Opana)
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
- Oxycodone (OxyContin)
To recap, opiates are naturally occurring. Here are a few examples of opiates:
The Effects of Opioids – What to Expect if You Take Pain-Killers
It doesn’t matter if you’re using heroin or you are taking a prescription pain-killer given to you by a doctor – opioids and opiates come with side effects.
Here are a few of the most common side effects you should expect to experience when taking these powerful drugs:
- Physical dependence
- Slowed breathing
- Euphoric feeling
- Lack of motivation
Also, so you are well-informed, you should know that taking synthetic opioids and opiates have long-term consequences. Here’s what might happen to you if you take these drugs for an extended period of time:
- Stomach problems, including chronic constipation and problems with digestion
- Liver damage
- Sleep disturbance
- Brain damage
- Increased sensitivity to pain
- Hormonal imbalance
Of course, everybody is different and not everyone responds to opioids and opiates in the same way. Some people experience extreme side effects or negative consequences. Others don’t.
Are Synthetic Opioids Addictive?
You know that heroin is addictive, right? Even though heroin is considered an opiate and not an opioid, when you think of opioids, you should think of heroin. Synthetic opioids and semi-synthetic opioids are highly addictive substances – just like heroin.
Tolerance is one of the main reasons why people become addicted to opioids. Once someone has been taking opioids for a continued period of time, they begin to build a tolerance to the drug. This means their body no longer feels the effects of a certain dosage of the medication or the heroin they have been taking. In order to once again feel the euphoric effect and the pain-blocking benefit from the opioids, they begin to take more of the stuff.
If you become one of those unfortunate souls who becomes addicted to opioids, you will find yourself in a hopeless cycle of addiction. People who abuse prescription pain-killers or heroin rarely quit using this stuff on their own.
Usually, someone who gets hooked on these narcotics has to undergo a detox program or check themselves into a drug rehab.
Why? Withdrawal, that’s why.
Withdrawal from Synthetic Opioids is What Makes Them So Difficult to Quit
According to everyone who has ever done so, kicking an addiction to opioids is like hell on earth. People become addicted to synthetic opioids and opiates because of tolerance. They stay addicted because of withdrawal.
Withdrawal is what happens when you stop using painkillers or heroin. It is the process the body goes through when removing the drugs from your system. This process is extremely painful. It can even be fatal.
If you are hooked on opioids or have an opiate habit, you should seek professional help. You should not attempt to quit this stuff on your own.
Here are some opioid/opiate withdrawal symptoms:
- Extreme physical pain
- Inability to digest food
- Flu-like symptoms
Imagine the sickest you have ever been in your entire life. Now, multiply that by a thousand trillion zillion. THAT’S the ugly truth about withdrawing from pain-killing drugs. It’s that bad.
Legal Synthetic Opioids Are Taking Over the United States
Prescription opiates and opioids like Codeine, Morphine, Percocet and Oxycodone are all prescribed by doctors in the U.S. This means you are supposed to have a legal prescription for these medications and you should only take them under the supervision of a doctor. Of course, many people buy these drugs on the street and take them illegally.
What many people don’t know is that legal synthetic opioids not available by prescription are sweeping the nation. Legal synthetic opioids are opioid chemical compounds that are sold in pill or powder form that have not yet been made illegal by the U.S. government.
These substances fly under the radar of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for a certain period of time before being discovered. They are usually brought to the forefront because they cause a significant number of overdoses or overdose-related deaths. By then, the drug will quickly disappear and reappear under a different name with a slightly different chemical compound.
Where Do You Find Legal Synthetic Opioids?
Some legal synthetic opioids are made here in the United States in underground labs and sold online or made available on the black market. Others are manufactured in laboratories from other countries like China. They are ordered on the Dark Web and shipped from overseas.
Many of these drugs promise to be a safe alternative to prescription opioids. Supposedly, they are not as addictive and don’t produce the same nasty side effects. Others are created intentionally to create a high-grade buzz and are extremely dangerous and even deadly. In either case, you should absolutely steer clear of legal synthetic opioids being sold on the Internet or on the street.
These substances are not FDA-approved. You have no idea what is in them and you have no idea the effect they might have on you. We are telling you about these strictly for educational purposes. We want to deter you from using these. We highly recommend that you stay away from these drugs at all costs.
Now, let’s talk about some of these legal synthetic opioids.
Carfentanil – An Animal Tranquilizer That Packs Enough Punch to Kill a Horse (Just Think of What It Could Do to You)
According to Rolling Stone Magazine, in August 2016, 96 heroin users died in one week in a small county in Ohio. They all died from ingesting a legal synthetic opioid called Carfentanil.
The DEA reports that Carfentanil is the most potent synthetic opioid in the world. This is not surprising – it was created to tranquilize horses. Carfentanil is 10,000 times more powerful than Morphine and 100 times more powerful than Fentanyl.
What’s happening with Carfentanil is that heroin dealers all across America are mixing the stuff with heroin to make it more powerful and to make their batches stretch further. As we saw in Ohio, this poorly thought entrepreneurial decision has deadly consequences.
If you use heroin, keep in mind that you never know what you’re getting when you buy a bag of brown. If it’s mixed with Carfentanil, your next bag could be your last.
Herkinorin – A Synthetic Opioid That Supposedly Produces No Tolerance in the Brain
Herkinorin is a legal synthetic opioid that reportedly does not create tolerance because it does not promote the release of a certain enzyme in the brain. This is one of the lesser potent opioids and is somewhat hard to get because it is being phased out. Because no tolerance is built up in the body, some chemists say that Herkinorin shows promise as a synthetic opioid that could reduce the likelihood of chemical dependence.
Rumor has it that scientists are continuing to work with this drug in research studies to see if it would be beneficial to the U.S. market as an alternative to more addictive opioids.
U-47700 Pink Synthetic Opioid is for Sale – But You Should Definitely Stay Far, Far Away From It
We feel we need to educate you about this potent and deadly new synthetic opioid drug that is making its way into the United States from laboratories in China. Stay away from this stuff. One dose could kill you.
Called “U4” or “Pink” on the streets, this synthetic opioid is sold in pill and powder form. It is not as readily available on the black market as drugs like Hydrocodone or Oxy. Most people buy it on the internet – although if you get caught with the stuff in your mailbox you can be charged with drug trafficking.
Seven times more powerful than the average dose of Morphine, U4 is a combination of the chemical compound U-4770 (who knows what it’s made of) and the synthetic opioid Fentanyl. In case you don’t keep up with entertainment news, the drug U4 is responsible for the overdose death of famous rocker Prince.
U4 was a legal synthetic opioid for quite some time until the DEA banned the drug and made it a Schedule I substance. The ban effectively made this substance illegal in the United States. The problem with Pink is that countries like China who manufacture the junk change one of the chemical compounds. This is how they get around American drug laws. By changing one of the chemicals, they create a new drug, which isn’t illegal yet. So, it may be Pink today – but it might be Purple tomorrow.
Just so you know – U4 went on the DEA’s radar because it killed 80 people in less than nine months. Try this stuff and you could be next.
Mysterious “Grey Death” Drug Stalks and Kills Southerners
In early 2017, an unidentified substance known as “Grey Death” was making its way across the southern states. A highly potent synthetic opioid substance that resembles concrete mixing material had chemists baffled. To this day, experts are still unsure what is in the stuff. What they do know is that the stuff is deadly and has killed a number of people.
Kratom – An Opioid Wannabe That May Show Promise for Treating Pain
Kratom is not a synthetic opioid, but it is often marketed like one and we thought it was worth mentioning. The Kratom is a tropical tree that grows in Southeast Asia. The leaves from the tree are said to have pain-relieving qualities. People chew and suck on the leaves and then swallow them. Some research suggests that Kratom works on the same parts of the brain as synthetic opioids and have the same effects.
Currently, the DEA is working to ban Kratom in the United States because it reportedly caused 15 deaths between 2014 and 2016. However; many Americans are fighting this ban because they say that Kratom has incredible pain-killing qualities but does not have the addictive qualities found in drugs like Morphine or Fentanyl. Furthermore, Kratom does not cause depressed breathing, which is often the cause of opioid-related death.
Additionally, Kratom may prove to be an effective tool for treating opioid withdrawal. It might help reduce cravings and lessen the pain of detox. Some doctors believe this herb could replace the Opioid Replacement Therapy drug Suboxone.
The Ugly and Deadly Truth About Opioids
We’ve covered a lot of ground about opioids, but there’s one point we want to make sure we drive home about these pain-killing drugs. The ugly truth about opioids is that they might make you feel good – but they’ll make you really sick and they’ll kill you if you’re not careful.
No matter how hopeless you might feel……no matter how bad things may have gotten…..no matter how many times you may have tried (and failed) to quit using opioids, help is available. Talk to your doctor or an addiction specialist today and find out what your options are.