Plugging Opana | Effects & Dangers

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on February 20, 2023

Plugging Opana occurs when the drug is injected into the rectum. This method of administration can lead to an intense high but also serious side effects like constipation, fast heartbeat, vomiting, and an increased risk of overdose and addiction.

Opana/Opana ER is the brand name for oxymorphone/oxymorphone hydrochloride, an opioid analgesic prescription drug that’s used to treat chronic pain and severe pain. Oxymorphone is chemically similar to oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, and heroin.

The painkiller works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and changing how the body responds to pain. Opana comes in an immediate-release and extended-release formulation.

Plugging Opana is a form of opioid abuse, similar to snorting, smoking, or injecting a drug, and using the oxymorphone in this manner can increase the risk of drug addiction and other health effects.

Effects Of Plugging Opana

When Opana is plugged, the drug is absorbed through the rectal membrane. From there, it travels directly to the brain. The effects can be felt almost immediately, making the high occur much faster than other routes of administration.

When people inject Opana in the rectum or take it as a suppository, it can also increase the intensity of side effects such as:

  • stomach pain 
  • nausea and vomiting
  • constipation
  • fast heartbeat
  • headache
  • anxiety
  • extreme tiredness
  • changes in behavior
  • trouble sleeping
  • hallucinations
  • lightheadedness
  • poor decision-making

Dangers Of Plugging Opana

Plugging Opana also comes with a variety of dangers including addiction, allergic reaction, overdose, and damage to the rectal tissue.

Opioid Addiction

Addiction is one of the biggest risks that come with plugging Opana. Because the drug goes right to the brain, the intense high it creates can lead to intense cravings where you want that high again and again, and long-term opioid drug use increases the risk of addiction.

Opioid addiction is defined by tolerance, where you need more and more the drug to maintain the desired high, as well as physical dependence, where you may experience withdrawal symptoms once you stop use.

Damage To Rectal Tissues

If you repeatedly plug Opana, you run the risk of damaging your rectal tissue and membranes. Plugging opioids can even kill the tissue leading to it becoming black, hard, and leathery. 

When this occurs, you need to seek medical attention as soon as possible because it can lead to serious problems with bowel movements.

Risk Of HIV & STDs

Those who are addicted to oxymorphone and plug it in unsterile or unclean environments not only risk contracting a bacterial infection but also HIV or an STD. This is especially the case for those who practice anal sex.

Opioid Overdose

An opioid overdose is one of the major concerns when it comes to plugging Opana. Since it can be almost impossible to tell how much Opana is going into your body when you’re using it this way, you can easily overdose.

Additionally, because the effects of the drug disappear relatively quickly, some people may immediately take the pain relief drug again. The drug can then build up and ultimately lead to an accidental overdose.

The signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose include:

  • difficulty breathing
  • slow or shallow breathing
  • bluish-tinged skin or fingernails
  • cold, clammy skin
  • change in pupil size
  • weak muscles
  • extreme sleepiness
  • slowed heartbeat
  • unconsciousness
  • seizures
  • coma

In Ohio, there were over 5,000 unintentional opioid overdose deaths in 2020 alone.

Oxymorphone Addiction Treatment

In 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested that Endo Pharmaceuticals remove Opana from the market due to its addictive qualities and how it was being misused. 

The company agreed and stopped making it so you can no longer get the brand name Opana. However, you still can get the generic form, oxymorphone.

If you or a loved one struggle with opiate/opioid drug abuse or opioid addiction and need treatment, Ohio Recovery Center can help.  

At Ohio Recovery Center, we offer a variety of substance abuse treatment options to ensure you get a customized treatment plan, including medical detox, inpatient care, medication-assisted treatment, and aftercare support.

To learn more, please call our helpline today.

  1. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) — Oxymorphone
  2. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — FDA requests removal of Opana ER for risks related to abuse
  3. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — Opana ER,021611s001lbl.pdf
  4. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Oxymorphone

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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