Stadol (Butorphanol) Abuse, Addiction, And Treatment Options

Stadol abuse can cause shortness of breath and other serious side effects. The sedating and euphoric effects of this opioid medication can lead to dependence and addiction, which may require a combination of medication and therapy as effective treatment.

What Is Stadol?

Stadol was first approved for use in the United States in 1978. As a schedule IV controlled substance, Stadol has medicinal value and some potential for abuse and dependence. Although considered less addictive than other opioid medications, Stadol can cause life-threatening breathing problems when misused or mixed with other substances.

Stadol is the brand name for the generic drug butorphanol. Butorphanol is an opioid prescription medication used to treat moderate to severe pain. It acts on areas of the brain associated with pain and pleasure. Stadol is generally prescribed for pregnant women during labor or to reduce awareness during surgery.

Stadol comes as an injection or nasal spray. The injection is usually given once every 3-4 hours under medical supervision. The nasal spray can be used as needed, but no more than once every few hours. Both the nasal spray and injection of Stadol may be prescribed for use at home. If this is the case, the medication should be taken exactly as directed.

Taking Stadol in ways other than directed, or using someone else’s prescription, is suggestive of abuse. Abusing Stadol can lead to dependence and addiction, as butorphanol can be habit-forming. Taking too much Stadol may result in euphoria, sedation, and other signs and symptoms of abuse.

Signs And Symptoms Of Stadol Abuse

Both the Stadol injection and nasal spray can cause side effects. Abusing Stadol may result in increased side effects, which may include:

  • drowsiness
  • extreme tiredness
  • feeling of floating
  • hostility
  • insomnia (difficulty falling or staying asleep)
  • intense happiness
  • loss of coordination
  • mood changes
  • nervousness
  • unusual dreams
Ohio Recovery Center


Plymouth, Massachusetts

Because Stadol is an opioid, taking more of the drug than directed can intensify feelings of happiness or pleasure. If a person drinks alcohol, has a history of mental illness, or has ever used street drugs, they’re more likely to overuse Stadol and become addicted.

Once addicted, someone may show other signs of drug-seeking behavior. This may include compulsively using and craving Stadol, showing a lack of control and judgement relating to it, and continuing to use it despite harm to themselves or others. A person may neglect responsibilities at home, work, or school in favor of using Stadol, allowing relationships and obligations to deteriorate.

Butorphanol is a powerful opioid pain reliever that may cause a Stadol high when abused. Besides making someone feeling drowsy and sedated, overusing Stadol may lead to dangerous consequences.

The Dangers Of Stadol Addiction

Stadol addiction may cause an increase in serious side effects. Some serious side effects of the Stadol nasal spray or injection can include:

  • difficulty breathing
  • fast heartbeat
  • fever
  • hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there)
  • hives
  • rash
  • vomiting

Taking Stadol may cause life-threatening breathing problems. The risk of experiencing breathing problems is increased when Stadol is mixed with other substances, like benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium), muscle relaxants (Flexeril), and other narcotic opioid pain relievers. Drinking alcohol or using street drugs also increase the risk of life-threatening side effects.

Overdose can occur when too much Stadol is taken or mixed with other substances. Symptoms of a Stadol overdose may include:

  • coma
  • death
  • slowed breathing

If a person is overdosing, 9-1-1 should be contacted immediately.

Although there are many dangers inherent to abusing Stadol, stopping use may be difficult because it can cause unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal.

Stadol (Butorphanol) Withdrawal And Detox

Suddenly stopping use of Stadol can cause uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms occur because the body and brain have developed a dependence to the drug. Drug dependence means the body must go through a period of adjustment after the drug is no longer used. This is called withdrawal, and symptoms of Stadol withdrawal may include:

  • agitation
  • chills
  • confusion
  • diarrhea
  • hallucinations
  • insomnia
  • loss of coordination
  • nervousness
  • shaking
  • sweats

Because symptoms of withdrawal can be intense and uncomfortable, people may use more Stadol or other substances to help alleviate symptoms. To avoid further drug use, and especially if symptoms are severe, a person can enter a medically-supervised detoxification, or detox, program. This generally takes place in a hospital or inpatient treatment center to provide a person with maximum comfort and safety during the worst of withdrawal.

During a detox program, staff can administer medications when necessary to help reduce drug cravings and alleviate symptoms of withdrawal. A detox program is not a cure for Stadol addiction, but is usually the first step in addiction treatment. Following detox, a person should immediately engage in further treatment options for the best results.

Spring Hill Recovery Center


Ashby, Massachusetts

Treatment Options For Stadol Addiction

As an opioid, treatment for Stadol addiction will likely include a combination of medication and behavioral therapy. Currently, there are three government approved medications used for treating opioid addiction: methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. While each medication works differently, they may be used to reduce cravings, alleviate symptoms of withdrawal, and help a person engage in treatment.

Behavioral therapy is the most common form of addiction treatment and aims to change a person’s thinking and attitudes towards drugs. By changing attitudes towards drugs, a person can focus on learning the life skills needed to remain sober after treatment.

Treatment may take place in an outpatient or inpatient treatment center. Inpatient treatment, or residential rehab, can be effective for Stadol addiction because it can provide around-the-clock medical support, access to medication, and treatment for other mental health conditions. Staying at rehab can also provide withdrawal support during detox, peer support, a host of therapies, and a supportive community engaged in healing and recovery.

Call now for more information on treating Stadol abuse and addiction.

MedlinePlus - Butorphanol Injection

MedlinePlus - Butorphanol Nasal Spray

World Health Organization - Critical Review of Butorphanol


Canton, Massachusetts

Bedrock Recovery Center


Levels of Care:

Payment Options: Insurance Accepted, Self Pay

View Center Profile

Plymouth, Massachusetts

Ohio Recovery Center


Levels of Care:

Payment Options: Insurance Accepted, Self Pay

View Center Profile