We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
An opiate is a narcotic analgesic that contains either natural or synthetic opium and is most often used medically to alleviate pain. Natural opium is extracted from the seed pod of the poppy plant in Asia. Drugs containing natural or synthetic opium are only legally available by prescription--however, they can be illegally purchased on the street. Opiate drugs are both physically and psychologically addictive when used in high doses for a long period of time. The misuse of opiates is associated with a high risk of accidental drug overdose.
Types of Opiates
Naturally occurring opiates are morphine and codeine. Semi-synthetic or opioids include heroin, hydrocodone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol) and oxycodone (Percodan). Synthetic opiods include fentanyl (Sublimaza), methadone (Dolophine), propoxyphene (Darvon) and pentazocine (Talwin). All opiate drugs have similar effects to varying degrees.
Morphine is derived from the opium poppy or papaver somniferum. Codeine can also be extracted from the poppy plant, but most often it is synthesized from morphine. Morphine is powerful narcotic analgesic and is highly addictive. The only opiate more addictive is heroin. Morphine can be given to a person orally or it can be smoked, injected or sniffed. Morphine may be prescribed to alleviate pain, help with breathing problems, or to treat diarrhea.
Semi-Synthetic and Synthetic Opiates
The opiates known as codeine, hydrocodone and oxycodone are synthesized from morphine. The potential for addiction is less with codeine than morphine or hydrocodone. Meperifine, fentanyl, propoxyphene, pentazocine, heroin and methadone are entirely synthetic and can be made from dichlorodiethyl and benzyl cyanide. Heroin is the most addictive opiate drug and can lead to many health problems such heart infections, kidney disease, liver disease, and possibly overdose death. Methadone is used as a replacement for opiate drugs when patients in rehab are withdrawing.
Opiates alleviate pain, but they may also produce a euphoric feeling. Side effects may include sleepiness, concentration difficulties, blurry vision, poor night vision, slowed breathing and slight anxiety. Stomach side effects may include nausea, vomiting, constipation and poor appetite.
Opiate Addiction and Withdrawl
Individuals using opiate drugs may become both psychologically and physically addicted to the drugs in as little as two weeks. Individuals withdrawing from an opiate often feel like they have a severe case of the flu. In addition, psychological withdrawal may include mood swings, depression and increased sensitivity to pain. The withdrawal symptoms may be uncomfortable, but they are not life-threatening.