Since the late 1990s, there has been an increase in prescription opioid medications, contributing to the widespread misuse of prescription and non-prescription opioids. More than 760,000 people have died of a drug overdose since 1999, and nearly 75 percent of overdoses in 2020 involved an opioid. The Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency in 2017.

When used correctly, opioids are an acceptable way to help relieve severe and chronic pain. But it’s also essential to understand which prescription opioid medications have a great chance of addiction.

Prescription opioid medications

Opioid drugs are habit-forming, primarily if used outside of how a doctor prescribes them. Some have a higher likelihood of abuse, while others have less of an addictive nature.

Commonly abused prescription drugs

  • Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid drug prescribed for pain. It’s derived from the poppy plant and has a high potential for abuse. More than 13 million Americans abuse oxycodone, including children as young as 12.
  • Hydrocodone is a cough suppressant and narcotic analgesic agent to treat moderate to moderately severe pain.
  • Fentanyl is an opioid drug for treating severe pain. It’s roughly 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It’s also sometimes used with other medications for anesthesia.
  • Hydromorphone is an opioid drug for treating moderate to severe pain. It’s about two to eight times more potent than morphine.

Less commonly abused prescription drugs

  • Tramadol is an opioid pain reliever for treating moderate to moderately severe pain. It can be habit-forming if used for an extended time. However, addition is not likely to occur when using the prescription for continued pain management.
  • Pentazocine is an opioid pain medication for treating moderate to severe pain. It is also part of anesthesia for surgery.
  • Tapentadol is a pain reliever for severe pain. Doctors primarily prescribe it for short-term pain after an injury or surgery.
  • Buprenorphine is an opioid pain medication for treating acute or chronic pain. Doctors may also prescribe it to help with opioid dependence.

Working with Mocek Spine Clinic

Dr. Mocek cares about the well-being of his patients during treatment and beyond. Dr. Mocek and his team understand pain management and work with each patient individually to find the best strategy to help them live pain-free life. To learn more about your pain management options, you can make an appointment at our clinic or call us at 501.224.4001.