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Opiates Addiction: History, Causes, Uses And Symptoms

Opioids are prescribed to treat pain but over time, the pain-relief benefits of opiates may lessen as the brain and body adapt to the amount of opiates being used. At this point, pain can become worse which leads to increased use. There are a variety of opiates available in the United States, and they can be addictive when abused. Opiates are drugs that are derived from the opium poppy plant. This family of drugs includes prescription painkillers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, and fentanyl, as well as illegal drugs like heroin.  If the body develops a dependence on opioids, withdrawal symptoms will occur when use is discontinued which makes it very difficult to stop taking opiates. Addiction is the phase of the use cycle that occurs after testing, tolerance, dependence, and abuse and is diagnosed when dependence interferes with daily life and the individual is not able to stop taking opiates no matter the consequences. It’s important to understand the ramifications of opiate use, abuse, misuse, and addiction because taking more than the prescribed amount or using illegal opioids like heroin may result in serious consequences such as overdose, death.

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How Opiates Are Abused

Opiates can be abused in a number of ways, including:

  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Snorting or smoking the drugs
  • Injecting the drugs

Taking drugs to get high opiate abuse is a serious problem that can lead to addiction and other health problems. If you or someone you know is struggling with opiate addiction, seek help from a certified treatment provider. Opiate dependence is a chronic disease that requires professional help to overcome.

History of Opiates

The opium poppy has been used for centuries to make a variety of different drugs. Opium is the oldest form of these drugs and was first used in China. Opium was brought to the United States in the 1800s by Chinese immigrants. Morphine was first isolated from opium in 1803 and was used as a painkiller during the Civil War. Heroin was first synthesized in 1874 and became popular as a treatment for morphine addiction. Oxycodone and hydrocodone are two synthetic forms of opium that were developed in the early 1900s. Treatment for Opiate Addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling with opiate addiction, there are a number of treatment options available. Opiate addiction is a serious problem in today’s society and was actually categorized as a pandemic by the CDC. Opiates were declared a drug epidemic in 1995 after the Sackler family pushed OxyContin through Purdue Pharma which lead to an increase in prescription opioid-related deaths.

How do Opiates Work?

Opiates work by binding to receptors in the brain that are responsible for pain relief and pleasure. This creates a sense of euphoria and can lead to abuse and addiction. Opiate addiction is a serious problem in the United States, with millions of people addicted to these drugs.

Chemical Makeup Of Opiates

Opiates like morphine and generic forms such as codeine consist of a benzene ring with a phenolic hydroxyl group as well as an alcohol hydroxyl group with a nitrogen atom. Both hydroxyl groups can be converted to ethers or esters. For example, codeine is morphine that is O-methylated, while heroin is morphine O-acetylated, a tertiary form of nitrogen.

Chemical Makeup of Opiates

Effects of Opiate Abuse and Misuse

Opiate abuse can have a number of negative effects on your health, including:

  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Respiratory problems
  • Heart problems
  • Mental health problems

If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to opiates, there are a number of treatment options available. Opiate addiction is a chronic disease that requires professional help to overcome.

Different Types of Opiates

<pThere are a number of different types of opiates available, including:

Each type of opiate has its own unique effects and risks. Opium is the oldest form of these drugs and is not commonly used in the United States. Morphine is a painkiller that is often prescribed to patients after surgery. Codeine is another painkiller that is sometimes prescribed for milder forms of pain. Heroin is an illegal drug that is highly addictive and dangerous. Oxycodone and hydrocodone are two synthetic forms of opium that are commonly abused. Each opiate may stay in your system for varying amounts of time, based on its chemical structure and how much you have been taking.

Difference Between Opiates and Synthetic Opioids

Opiates are substances made from several species of the opium poppy plant that help relieve pain. Poppy plants have been used by humans for medicinal and recreational purposes for centuries. Morphine and heroin are well-known examples of opiates. Opiates are different than synthetic opioids which are man-made substances created in laboratories with the purpose of relieving pain. The term opioid is used as an umbrella category in the English language and can be used to include plant-derived opiates, semi-synthetic opioids such as oxycodone which have compounds from plant sources, along with synthetic opioids made in a lab like fentanyl.

Recovery from opiate addiction

Treatment for opioid addiction typically includes a blend of medicine, counseling, and support groups. Anyone who is dealing with opiate addiction should seek assistance from a certified treatment provider. Opiate dependence is a severe issue that can be overcome with proper therapy and support. Here are some recovery programs that may prove beneficial:

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Opioid Statistics

Since the opioid crisis started, individuals have been increasingly using opiates at an alarming rate which has increased overdoses and has put significant pressure the public health system to care for individuals at a higher rate.

Opioid Statistics

Frequently Asked Questions: Opiates

How quickly can you become addicted to opiates?

Opioid dependence can happen after just five days because the drugs are some of the strongest on the planet. Once opiates bind to your pain receptors, withdrawal symptoms can occur when use is discontinued which makes it more difficult to stop. The timeline is similar if you are taking painkillers or heroin.

Is there a difference between Opiates vs Opioids?

Opiates & opioids are terms that are often used interchangeably, however, they do refer to different things. Opiates refer to natural opioids such as heroin, morphine and codeine which is different from opioids which refer to all-natural, semisynthetic, and synthetic opioids.

Get help for opiate addiction

If you or a loved one is suffering from opiate addiction, contact a professional treatment provider today to get started on the road to recovery. With the right help, you can overcome this disease and live a healthy and fulfilling life.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to opiates, please reach out for help. Opiate addiction is a serious issue, but there is hope for recovery. Contact us to get help from a professional treatment provider today to get started on your journey to recovery you can view our admissions process.

Sackler Family, Purdue Pharma Reach $6 Billion Agreement With …

https://www.webmd.com › a-to-z-guides › news › sackler-…
This content is verified and moderated by Dr. Brendan Bickley

This content is verified and moderated by Dr. Brendan Bickley

Dr. Bickley graduated from U.C. Irvine with honors: Phi Beta Kappa, Golden Key International Honor Society, Cum Laude. He has been featured on national radio and print media. He is also a frequent lecturer at National Conferences. He holds an A.S. degree in Drug & Alcohol Studies, and two B.A. degrees in Criminology & Psychology, and masters and doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. He is a licensed California Drug & Alcohol Counselor Level II, a licensed Clinical Supervisor and is certified in treating Eating Disorders.

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