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commonly abused pain pills

The Most Commonly Abused Pain Pills

With almost every household in the United States holding at least one prescription medication in their cabinet, it’s no surprise that the opioid epidemic continues to worsen. Pain pills are those who fall under the opioid category. These prescriptions are mostly to treat pain from chronic conditions, surgeries, and other occurrences. Let’s take a look at the most commonly abused pain pills around the country. 

It’s important to note that these medications don’t instantly lead to an addiction. Initially, most people start taking them after receiving medical advice and for medical purposes only. However, after some time, their bodies develop a physical dependence and people ask for high doses to get the same effects. After this, even when they try to stop taking the drug, the side effects of withdrawal prevent them from stopping, and eventually, they develop an addiction.


Morphine has been around since 1804 and hit the markets in 1817. One of the oldest prescription painkillers, morphine is one of the first opioids. Morphine is available in tablet, liquid, suppository, and capsule presentations. In most cases, morphine is part of anesthesia before surgery or to help with immediate chronic pain following surgery. 

On the streets, morphine goes by names such as Dreamer, First Line, Joy Juice, Morpho, Miss Emma, Monkey, White Stuff, Mister Blue, and Unkie. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), morphine is a Schedule II and II drug, which means people can only get it through prescriptions and it has a high potential for abuse. 


Oxycodone is another prescription painkiller to help with moderate to acute pain. By the mid-90s, OxyContin one of the brand-names for oxycodone, then a spike in abuse and addiction cases was almost impossible to control. OxyContin is a time-release form for oxycodone, with no acetaminophen or ibuprofen. However, when users crush the pills, they destroy the time-release coating, getting a full dose of oxycodone. 

Most oxycodone users start by ramping up their dose by taking more pills. As their tolerance increases, they often follow by crushing the pill and snorting the powder. Some users even evolve to the point of diluting the pills in water and injecting them.

Oxycodone is a Schedule II drug with a high potential for abuse. While you need a prescription for oxycodone, it reaches the stress under names such as the 30s, 40s, 512s, Oxy, Beans, Blues, Buttons, Cotton, Hillbilly Heroin, Kickers, Killers, Percs, and Roxy.


Hydromorphone exists since the early 1920s, however, its popularity rose as the opioid epidemic flourished by the end of the 20th century. Dilaudid, the brand-name for hydromorphone is ten times stronger than morphine and almost five times stronger than heroin. 

Unlike most opioids, hydromorphone crosses the blood-brain barrier much faster. When people misuse the drug, their “high” is not only stronger but it also occurs faster. This is why Dilaudid addiction is so common.

The prescription is only available in liquid or suppository form, which is why most addicts inject the drug. On the streets, this Schedule II drug goes by names like D, Dillies, K4, and Needle Candy.


Methadone is a synthetic opioid meant to be a painkiller for soldiers after World War I. However, as with most painkillers, when brand-names like Dolphine and Methadose hit the markets, more doctors started prescribing these opioids to people struggling with chronic pain. Methadone is one of the longest-acting opioids, which also makes it harder to abuse than other opioids. 

Interestingly, methadone is often part of many opioid treatments to help with withdrawal symptoms. Since some people experience extreme cravings and depression, a “methadone maintenance” program can be helpful. However, these programs are controversial, since people believe it’s just feeding into someone’s addiction. 

On the streets, this Schedule II drug goes by street names like Amidone, Biscuits, Fizzies, Jungle Juice, Maria, and Wafer. When they mix it with MDMA, it goes by Chocolate Chip Cookies.


Another popular painkiller that leads to addiction is fentanyl. Similar to morphine, but almost 75 to 100 percent stronger, making it a highly addictive drug. Available in sublingual tablets, films, and buccal tablets, fentanyl gives users plenty of options for misuse. Most people either inject, smoke, or snort the drug. 

One of the biggest dangers of fentanyl addiction is that most users mix it with other drugs and substances to enhance its effects. People tend to blend it with heroin to experience a stronger high. On the streets, fentanyl is widely available and it hides under names such as Apache, Blonde, Blue Diamond, Blue Diamond, China Buffet, China White, Snowflake, Humid, Jackpot, Murder 8, Tango and Cash, TNT, and White Ladies. When street dealers blend it with heroin they sell this mix as Birria or Facebook. 

Treatment Options for Pain Pill Addiction

Despite the opioid epidemic getting worse, it’s paramount that people who abuse street drugs and abused prescriptions opioids understand their options. Pain pill addiction is fairly common around 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them. Between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder. 

Those with a substance use disorder involving opioids can get help from a treatment center. Usually, a combination of behavioral therapy, medication-assisted treatment, and aftercare relapse prevention management can help someone overcome their addiction and enjoy an opioid-free life. 

At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, our addiction recovery programs include:

Medical Detox: In this clinically supervised detox process, we ensure the patient’s safety under medical supervision and make the withdrawal phase as comfortable as possible by minimizing withdrawal symptoms and using medication-assisted treatment services to guarantee a complete detoxification process. 

Partial Hospitalization Programs: Long-term use of opioids can lead to many health issues. It’s essential to seek the right medical treatment to prevent these from becoming permanent consequences and prevent a Vicodin overdose.

Intensive Outpatient Programs: When patients are looking to seek addiction treatment while maintaining daily obligations like work, school, or caregiving, IOPs are a more flexible option that still gives people access to the help they need. 

Long-term Recovery Programs: With long-term recovery assistance, patients can have the ongoing support they need to maintain long-lasting sobriety. Recovery programs are crucial to relapse prevention by giving patients access to support groups to help them navigate their opioid addiction.

Get Help Today

If you or a loved one is struggling with prescription drug abuse, ask for help immediately. These commonly abused pain pills can bring life-threatening consequences. Please, call the Lighthouse Recovery Institute today and speak with our addiction specialists to learn more about our comprehensive and personalized addiction treatment programs. Our treatment centers offer unique and customized treatment plans because we believe no two addictions are alike. 

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