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General Information About Opioids

Opioids are commonly prescribed because of their effective analgesic, or pain relieving,
properties. Studies have shown that properly managed medical use of opioid analgesic
compounds is safe and rarely causes addiction. Taken exactly as prescribed, opioids can be
used to manage pain effectively.

Among the compounds that fall within this class—sometimes referred to as narcotics—are
morphine, codeine, and related medications. Morphine is often used before or after surgery
to alleviate severe pain. Codeine is used for milder pain. Other examples of opioids that can
be prescribed to alleviate pain include (OXY) oxycodone (OxyContin—an oral, controlled
release form of the drug); propoxyphene (Darvon); hydrocodone (Vicodin); hydromorphone
(Dilaudid); and meperidine (Demerol), which is used less often because of its side effects. In
addition to their effective pain relieving properties, some of these medications can be used
to relieve severe diarrhea (Lomotil, for example, which is diphenoxylate) or severe coughs

Opioids act by attaching to specific proteins called opioid receptors, which are found in the
brain, spinal cord, and gastrointestinal tract. When these compounds attach to certain
opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, they can effectively change the way a person
experiences pain.

In addition, opioid medications can affect regions of the brain that mediate what we
perceive as pleasure, resulting in the initial euphoria that many opioids produce. They can
also produce drowsiness, cause constipation, and, depending upon the amount taken,
depress breathing. Taking a large single dose could cause severe respiratory depression or

Opioids may interact with other medications and are only safe to use with other medications
under a physician's supervision. Typically, they should not be used with substances such as
alcohol, antihistamines, barbiturates, or benzodiazepines. Since these substances slow
breathing, their combined effects could lead to life-threatening respiratory depression.

Long-term use also can lead to physical dependence—the body adapts to the presence of
the substance and withdrawal symptoms occur if use is reduced abruptly. This can also
include tolerance, which means that higher doses of a medication must be taken to obtain
the same initial effects. Note that physical dependence is not the same as addiction—
physical dependence can occur even with appropriate long-term use of opioid and other
medications. Addiction, as noted earlier, is defined as compulsive, often uncontrollable drug
use in spite of negative consequences.

Individuals taking prescribed opioid medications should not only be given these medications
under appropriate medical supervision, but also should be medically supervised when
stopping use in order to reduce or avoid withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms of withdrawal
can include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes
with goose bumps ("cold turkey"), and involuntary leg movements.

Individuals who become addicted to prescription medications can be treated. Options for
effectively treating addiction to prescription opioids are drawn from research on treating
heroin addiction.

Opioids Drug Testing

Please note:

Oxycodone-OxyCotine and Hydrocodone (Vicodine) are tested with a specific test that can
detect OXY.  This test is available on the
1-Panel, 6-Panel, and 12-Panel drug test. Although
these drugs are derived from opium the opium/morphine test does not detect them properly
and therefor an oxycodone test is required. All other Opioids can be tested with an
opium/morphine drug test kit. Contact a sales representative for more information.

Drug testing can now be done privately at home or work with an easy to use instant
test kit from Uritox Medical. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to
contact us.

Information provided by UriTox, LLC and The National Drug Abuse Organization.
Opioids Information Including Morphine, Codeine, OXY & Opium
2-4 Days
(8-24 Hours for OXY)
6-12 Hours
6-12 Hours
30-90 Days
Detection period
Please note these are estimated times. Detection time is an average and can vary greatly.  Detection time can
vary due to multiple circumstances including but not limited to length and amount of use.
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