What are Synthetic Opioids?

What are Synthetic Opioids?

Synthetic opioids are artificial drugs designed to mimic the effects of natural opiates like opium or heroin. But don’t be fooled – these man-made narcotics can be way more potent and dangerous. Most are classified as Class A substances, meaning their possession or distribution is a serious crime.

While some synthetic opioids serve legitimate medical purposes as painkillers or anaesthetics, many are cooked up illegally and sold on the streets. Let’s dive into what these drugs really are and the risks they pose.

What Do Synthetic Opioids Look Like?

If obtained through proper medical channels, synthetic opioids come in various forms like pills, patches, lollipops, and injectable solutions. Seem harmless enough, right? Well, here’s where it gets sketchy.

Illegally manufactured synthetic opioids can look like anything – tablets, capsules, powders – you name it. Worse yet, they’re often laced into other drugs to increase potency. Ever hear of fentanyl being mixed with heroin? It’s a lethal combo that’s becoming far too common.

How Are They Consumed?

Just like natural opiates, synthetic variants can be swallowed, snorted, injected, or smoked. No matter the method, the effects are intense and highly addictive. Users typically experience euphoria, pain relief, relaxation…and potentially deadly respiratory depression.

A Litany of Dangers

The risks of using synthetic opioids read like a horror novel. Laboured breathing, unconsciousness, comas – these are just the opening chapters. Overdosing and outright respiratory failure are horrifyingly real possibilities due to their incredible strength compared to heroin or morphine.

But that’s not all, folks! Using needles to inject raises the risk of nasty infections, collapsed veins, and blood-borne diseases like HIV or hepatitis. Even swallowing these substances can ravage your body with nausea, itching, constipation, and lethargy.

On top of the physical toll, synthetic opioid addiction can wreak havoc on your life – jobs lost, relationships ruined, a downward spiral into crime to feed the habit. It’s a situation no one wants to find themselves trapped in.

Staying Safe is Priority One

Here’s the hard truth: mixing synthetic opioids with any other depressant like alcohol, benzos, or even regular opiates drastically increases the likelihood of overdose and death. These combos are truly a recipe for disaster.

The good news? Naloxone can reverse an opioid overdose, and many local services provide it for free. If you or someone you know uses opioids, get naloxone and learn how to use it – it could save a life.

At the end of the day, synthetic opioids are a scourge that must be taken seriously. The stakes are life and death, folks. Play it smart and avoid these super-potent killers at all costs. Your future self will thank you.

Photo: “Synthetic Opioids” by Anthony Cunningham for Zoom Testing

Zoom Testing is a leading UK drug testing company and a supplier of Drug Test Kits.

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