Derived from the poppy plant, some opiates (codeine, morphine) are used as painkillers and becoming more commonly used recreationally. Our standard opiate test will detect codeine, morphine and heroin. Opiates can be snorted, smoked or injected. Both physical and psychological addiction is very strong.
Modern synthetic opiates will not show up in a standard 5 or 10 panel drug test. To detect hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone or oxymorphone, you would need to order an Expanded Panel. We use the term “opioids” to describe the standard and synthetic opiates. You can order a 5 or 10 panel drug test or an Expanded Panel
What Are OPIOIDS?
The term “Opioids” is broader than “opiates” which we hear more frequently. “Opiates” normally refers to morphine, codeine and 6M-AM, the metabolite of heroin. “Opioid” is a term that also includes the commonly abused synthetic opiates, oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydromorphone and hydrocodone. More commonly, these drugs are known their trade names: OxyContin®, Percodan®, Percocet®, Vicodin®, Lortab®, Norco®, Dilaudid®, and Exalgo®.
Synthetic opioids are substances that are synthesized in a laboratory and that act on the same targets in the brain as natural opioids (e.g., morphine and codeine) to produce pain relief effects. Many synthetic opioids have been approved for medical use.
Symptoms and Signs
The following are observable, possible signs and symptoms of Opioids use that should be documented by a supervisor:
What do they look like?
Most synthetic opioids are encountered as tablets, mimicking pharmaceutical opioid products. Clandestinely produced synthetic opioids are found as a single substance in combination with other opioids (fentanyl, heroin) or other substances.
Heroin is typically sold as a white or brownish powder, or as the black sticky substance known on the streets as “black tar heroin.” Most street heroin is “cut” with other drugs or with substances such as sugar, starch, powdered milk, or quinine.
How Opioids affects the mind and body?
Some effects include relaxation, euphoria, pain relief, sedation, confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, urinary retention, pupillary constriction, and respiratory depression. Effects are not unlike opiates like codeine and morphine.
Overdose effects of synthetic opioids are similar to other opioid analgesics and may include stupor, changes in pupillary size, cold and clammy skin, cyanosis, coma, and respiratory failure leading to death. The presence of triad of symptoms such as coma, pinpoint pupils, and respiratory depression may indicate opioid poisoning.
Impact On The Workplace
Short-term effects of opioid abuse—clouded mental functioning, nausea, and drowsiness—have clear implications and impact on the workplace. However, the longer-term threats to overall health and addiction have an even greater potential to create problems for the employee, his family, co-workers and the employer.
That is because the opiate addict’s, especially the heroin addict’s, primary focus in life becomes acquiring and using the drug. The most obvious concerns are job-related mistakes, medical costs and inappropriate behavior.