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What Are Opiates?

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Unfortunately, opiates are the fastest growing drug addiction in the country. In 2010, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 200,000 people used heroin and 5.1 million people used painkillers for nonmedical reasons.

Opiates suppress the central nervous system, creating pain relief and a euphoric high feeling. While some people do start out taking them with a legitimate prescription, many become addicted and continue taking them even after their prescription is over.

While this article will explain more about opioids, our opiate specialists can supply you with even more info. Give our hotline a call at 877-743-0081 (Who Answers?) to speak with someone who can answer your opiate questions.

List of Opiates

Opiates can come in a number of different forms. They might be concocted as liquids, powders, syrups, or tablets.

There are also various ways to consume opiates. Many people prefer to inject the drugs, as this is the fastest way to feel its effects. Additional methods include snorting, taking it orally, and smoking it.

The list of opiate drugs is even longer than the methods of ingesting them. Some of the more popular ones include:

  • Heroin
  • Hydrocodone, such as Vicodin
  • Oxycodone, such as Percocet and OxyContin
  • Morphine, such as Kadian and Avinza
  • Codeine
  • Methadone

Many of these drugs are legal when prescribed by a doctor, which is what makes them so easy to obtain. In these cases, addicts get introduced to opiates through a pain prescription and then never look back. However, drugs like heroin are illegal in every case.

How Opiates Work

What Are Opiates

Drowsiness is a common side effect of opiate abuse.

Opiates work by sticking to specific proteins in your brain known as opioid receptors. As these proteins are stimulated, it helps reduce pain and sensation throughout the body. In addition, many people experience a euphoric feeling because these receptors are linked to your reward centers.

As you continue to take opiates, your brain will begin to get used to having this constant stimulation of the opioid receptors. This will cause your tolerance levels to go up, meaning you will need higher doses of the drug to achieve the same effects.

After a while, you will find yourself physically dependent on the drug. If you try to stop taking it, you will experience withdrawal symptoms that can range from mild to severe.

Effects of Opiates

Taking opiates produces a number of noticeable effects in people. Some of the most common side effects include:

  • A “rush” feeling that offers intense relief and satisfaction
  • Slower breathing, brain activity, and heart rate
  • A lack of appetite and thirst
  • Decreased sexual desire
  • An increased tolerance to pain
  • Mental confusion and slower thinking
  • Drowsiness

As you can see, the adverse side effects outweigh most of the positive benefits. Regardless, people still continue to take opiates because of how it makes them feel.

Withdrawal from Opiates

Once a person becomes addicted to opiates, they will experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking it. These unpleasant side effects can begin only four to six hours after the last dose. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Muscle weakness and cramps
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Tremors, chills, and sweating
  • Intense cravings

Normally, these symptoms peak at 72 hours after the last dose and finally disappear seven to 10 days after the last dose.

If you’re suffering from opiate withdrawal symptoms, our hotline specialists can help. Just give us a call at 877-743-0081 (Who Answers?) and we can direct you to the nearest opiate treatment center for help.

As you can see, opiates are very dangerous drugs that aren’t really worth the risk. While they do have some benefits when used on a short-term basis, taking them for more than the recommended time can lead to a deadly addiction.

Opioids vs. Opiates – What’s the Difference?


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