Dangerous Opioid Drugs Ranked By Strength
It is easy to think of opioid drugs as a single problem, and many people outside the field of addiction science do just that. Even if someone you care about has been abusing prescription opioid medications, you may not realize that there are many forms of opioids or that each one has its own unique set of dangers.
The more you learn about various kinds of opioid drugs, from the perfectly legal to the tightly controlled, the easier it will be to get the right level of assistance for yourself and your loved one.
What Are Opioid Drugs?
The opioid class of drugs is a large one, and each drug in the class has its own unique set of characteristics and its own level of danger. As you try to get help for yourself or someone you care about, it is essential to remember that opioids are a class of medication, not a single drug.
14 Common Opioid Drugs from Strongest to Weakest
Here are the 14 most common opioid drugs ranked from strongest to weakest:
This drug is 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more powerful than fentanyl. Carfentanil is used as a tranquilizer for large animals, including elephants. Its effect on the human body can be deadly even in the tiniest of doses.
Fentanyl ranges between 50 and 100 times more potent than morphine. Fentanyl is perhaps the deadliest of all street drugs. Dealers often cut their supply with fentanyl to increase its potency and stretch their profits, setting up a dangerous situation for users and their families.
FDA approved for the treatment of opioid use disorder, buprenorphine is also a powerful opioid. Unlike other opioids, buprenorphine does not create a sense of euphoria, making it a good choice for drug treatment and detox.
Sold under the brand names of Numorphone and Opana, Oxymorphone is designed for extended-release, but it is also the subject of abuse. Sold on the street under names like O Bomb and Biscuits, Oxymorphone is one of the most powerful opioids available.
This drug is used to relieve moderate to severe pain, and it is two to eight times more potent than morphine. Found on the streets and in a medical setting, hydromorphone is taken by injection, liquid or tablet, as well as through a rectal suppository.
Perhaps the most well-known of the opioids, heroin is also one of the most potent and addictive. Two to five times stronger than morphine, heroin is sold on the street under various names, including smack and horse.
Also approved by the FDA, methadone has historically been used in drug detox, although its usefulness has diminished as better alternatives have come to market.
One of the new classes of opioid painkillers, OxyContin, has also been the subject of abuse and addiction. OxyContin is a trademarked brand name for Oxycodone, a long-lasting opioid used to treat moderate to severe pain.
This powerful opioid combines Oxycodone and acetaminophen, and it is given as a tablet, oral solution, or liquid. While Percocet does have legitimate uses in treating pain, many pills are ultimately diverted to the street, where they are marketed under names like hillbilly heroin or simply percs.
Sold under several brand names, including Vicodin, Zohydro, and Norco, hydrocodone is another drug with legitimate medical uses and the potential for addiction and abuse.
Morphine is one of the most well-known opioids and still one of the most dangerous. The drug is often prescribed to cancer patients as a form of pain relief, but it can also be abused, and many forms of morphine are bought and sold on the street.
This drug is used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain, Tramadol is about a tenth as potent as morphine, but that does not mean it is not dangerous. Tramadol has both legitimate medical uses and a potential for dependency and addiction.
Demerol is used in a medical setting to treat moderate to severe pain, and it is about one-tenth as potent as morphine. Demerol is sometimes used as a surgical anesthetic as well, but like other opioids, it carries the risk of dependency and addiction.
Many people think of codeine as an ingredient in cough syrup, not realizing it is also an opioid. While not as powerful as other opioids, codeine does carry the risk of addiction and dependency, and its use should be carefully monitored.
If you or someone you care about has been abusing opioids, it is essential to reach out for help as quickly as possible. Opioid addictions tend to feed on one another, with users seeking out more significant quantities and ever more powerful highs. This cycle of abuse and addiction can be dangerous and even deadly, and timely help and guidance are essential parts of any effective recovery.
At WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab, we have the training, the medical expertise, and the strong desire to help you or your loved one get on the road to recovery. When you are ready to reach out for that help, we invite you to contact our staff. We understand opioids as a class, but we also have a deep understanding of each type of opioid, including its effects on the body and what it takes to break the chains of addiction.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.