The Truth About Drugs

What Are Painkillers?

Painkillers are a very harmful and powerful drug. This drug messes with the nervous system’s transmission of nerve signals that we feel as pain. Bad things can happen when painkillers are abused. Most of the painkillers stimulate the brain and it is linked with a good feeling, or pleasure. The painkillers are meant to block the pain, so when you abuse the drug, you get high. Opioids are the most powerful prescription painkillers which are opium-like compounds. The opioids are made to react with to the nervous system in the same way as drugs like heroin do. Oxycodone, hydrocodone, meperidine, hydromorphone, propoxyphene are the most commonly abused opioids.

How Are Painkillers Used?

Street Names

A few of the street names of painkillers are

Oxycodone- Oxy 80s, oxycotton, hillbilly heroin, and perks

Hydrocodone- Painkillers, vikes, and hydros

Propoxyphene- Footballs, pink footballs, yellow footballs, 65’s, and Ns

Hydromorphone- Juice, dillies, and drug street heroin

Meperidine- Demmies and pain killers


For thousands of years, opiates have been used in medicine and also used for recreational purposes. Opiates are made from the opium poppy. Opium prepared in an alcoholic solution is called laudanum and was used in the 16th century as a painkiller. Morphine, named after Morpheus the Greek god of dreams, is the most active substance in opium and is also a very addictive and powerful painkiller. In the 19th century, morphine was first extracted from opium in pure form and used by many people. Many US Civil War soldiers became hooked to this powerful painkiller, and it could have potentially killed them.

Long & Short Term Effects

Some of the short-term effects include:


- Vomiting

- Confusion

- Addiction to the drug

- Dizziness

- Withdrawl

- Coma

- Unconsciousness

Long-term effects of painkillers include:

- Death

- Increased risks of heart attacks

- Dependence

- Respiratory depression

Facts About Painkillers

  • By 1995 Southwest Asia was making 2,500 pounds of methadone annually
  • 1 in 10 high school seniors admit to abusing prescription painkillers
  • Doctors and rehabilitation therapists say that painkiller abuse is one of the most difficult addictions to treat
  • In 2007 there was 785 deaths found in Florida because of the misuse of methadone (a painkiller)
  • In 2007, marijuana and prescription painkillers were the most popular substances used by people age 12 and up
  • In 1905, the US Congress banned opium, and the year after that, they passed the Pure Food and Drug Act requiring labeling on all medicines of the content