Substance Use

What Are Blues Drugs?

blue pills

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What Exactly Is the “Blues” Drug?

“Blues” is a street name for oxycodone, which is a prescription drug used to relieve moderate and severe pain. Oxycodone is sold under brand names like OxyContin®, Percodan®, and Percocet®. However, much of what’s sold on the street is comprised of counterfeit pills. As many as 6 in 10 of the “Blues” pills or oxycodone tablets available on the street contains a lethal amount of fentanyl.

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Other Street Names for Blues

Oxycodone pills are often referred to as “blues” or “roxies,” but you may also hear them called:

  • 30s
  • 40s
  • 512s
  • Beans
  • Blues
  • Buttons
  • Cotton
  • Greens
  • Hillbilly Heroin
  • Kickers
  • Killers
  • Muchachas
  • Mujeres
  • OC
  • Oxy
  • Oxy 80s
  • Roxy
  • Roxy Shorts
  • Whites

The danger of street names is that it can make drug use seem safer as it sometimes detaches substance use from affiliations with the actual drug being consumed. For instance, someone offered blues by their friend wouldn’t be able to know that it’s a powerful prescription opioid that they’re about to take.

Side Effects of Taking Blues

Oxycodone can lead to various short-term side effects, and these side effects may be stronger if you take it in large quantities or mix it with other substances, like alcohol.

Common short-term side effects include:

  • Asthenia
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Pruritus
  • Somnolence
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting

Other side effects include:

  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased cerebrospinal (CSF) pressure
  • Irritability
  • Sedation
  • Seizures
  • Bradycardia
  • Hypotension
  • Palpitations
  • Respiratory depression

Dangerous side effects include:

Do you need help overcoming drug addiction? Zinnia Health can help. Call our team today at (855) 430-9439 to learn more about the next steps.

The Risks of Counterfeit Blues

The opioid crisis has claimed many lives, and oxycodone can be deadly on its own, especially when it’s sold on the drug market under a number of names that can make it seem less potent or scary. The DEA has uncovered various counterfeit pills in recent years that have contributed to overdose deaths.

Counterfeit pills have become a major problem due to the high cost of going to pharmacies. Some people have chosen to buy prescription drugs illegally in hopes of saving money, while others don’t have a prescription for something like pain medication, and they’re attempting to self-medicate by buying the drug illicitly.

In some cases, people who are using drugs recreationally may also be more likely to pay for a prescription medication like oxycodone because they believe it’s safer than something like heroin. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth since counterfeit pills have hit the market.

Why Are Fake Blues So Deadly?

The DEA now says that as many as 6 in 10 oxycodone pills sold on the illicit market contain a lethal dose of fentanyl. Fentanyl — an extremely powerful opioid — and methamphetamine are two of the most common substances found in fake blues/oxycodone pills.

Fentanyl can be deadly because:

  • It’s hundreds of times more potent than heroin
  • It’s 80 times more potent than morphine
  • The equivalent of a few grains of salt is enough to kill a person

Methamphetamine can also be deadly because:

  • It is a powerful stimulant
  • Taking it once can immediately harm your brain and body
  • Mixing it with opioids or other drugs increases the risks

Because blues are so commonly counterfeited, it’s natural to be extremely concerned if someone you love is taking them. If that’s the case, the first priority should be overdose prevention by focusing on helping them acknowledge the dangers of fake fentanyl pills and identifying them.

How to Identify Counterfeit Blues

Visually, fake blues and fentanyl-laced blues have very few differences. In fact, even a trained eye would have a tough time distinguishing them from one another. Fake blues are often stamped with M30, just like prescription Oxycodone, and the stamp can look identical to the real thing. The color, shape, and size are also very close.

To make matters worse, you cannot smell or taste fentanyl, which makes it virtually undetectable to the average person. Due to the dangers of fentanyl and the number of deaths it has caused, the Drug Enforcement Administration has been spearheading campaigns to get testing kits to the public.

If you have a sharps disposal center or another resource center nearby, they likely have a free fentanyl test kit that you can take. This test kit will tell you if a drug contains fentanyl, but it cannot detect other additives. In other words, just because it does not confirm the presence of fentanyl, it does not mean you have pure oxycodone on your hands.

In the event that someone you love is taking blue pills, getting a fentanyl test kit for them can protect their health until they’re ready to seek help for drug abuse.

Getting Treatment for Opioid Abuse

Blues are powerful substances, even more so if someone has been taking pills laced with opioids like fentanyl. Not only do these illicit drugs pose major health risks, but they also make it extremely hard to quit do the highly addictive nature of opioid drugs.

If someone you love is dealing with opioid abuse, the best thing you can do is reach out to them and try to be supportive of their physical and mental health. Not everyone is receptive to help the first time it’s offered, but if you stay by their side, you can assist them in getting the treatment they need when they’re ready to receive it.

If you’re interested in learning more about the addiction treatment options in your area, take these steps:

  • Ask your healthcare provider about resources in the area
  • Talk to a mental or behavioral health counselor about addiction
  • Seek out support groups with peers and other recovering addicts
  • Reach out to an addiction treatment center helpline for answers to your questions

Would you like to learn more about your treatment options? Zinnia Health can help. Call our team today at (855) 430-9439 to explore our programs and learn how we can help you or a loved one get the life-saving help needed to recover.

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