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What Drugs Are Classified as Opiates?

Mark Halsey
Chief Editor of - Cleanbreak Recovery

Mark Halsey is a licensed therapist, founder, and chief editor of Clean Break Recovery. With over a decade of addiction treatment experience, Mark deeply understands...Read more

When it comes to understanding drugs, it is important to be aware of their classification and effects. Opiates are one of the most commonly abused drugs and have serious consequences for those who use them. In this article, we will explore what drugs are classified as opiates, their effects, and the risks associated with their use. By understanding the nature of opiates, we can make better decisions regarding our own health and the health of those around us.

What Drugs Are Classified as Opiates?

What Drugs Are Considered Opiates?

Opiate drugs are derived from the opium poppy plant and used to treat severe pain. There are a variety of drugs classified as opiates, including prescription medications, such as codeine, morphine, and oxycodone, as well as illicit drugs, such as heroin. All of these drugs bind to opioid receptors in the brain and body, producing feelings of pain relief and euphoria. Opiates are highly addictive and can lead to physical and psychological dependence.

Prescription Opiates

Prescription opiates are drugs that are prescribed by a doctor to treat pain. Examples of these drugs include codeine, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and hydromorphone. These drugs are available in a variety of forms, including tablets, capsules, liquids, and injectables. These drugs are usually only used to treat severe pain, and are only available with a doctor’s prescription.

Prescription opiates can be highly addictive and should only be used as directed by a doctor. These drugs can have serious side effects, including drowsiness, confusion, and constipation. Long-term use of prescription opiates can lead to tolerance and physical dependence, which can result in withdrawal symptoms if the drug is suddenly stopped.

Illicit Opiates

Illicit opiates are drugs that are illegally manufactured and sold on the street. The most common illicit opiates are heroin and opium. These drugs are typically injected or smoked and can produce intense feelings of euphoria. Illicit opiates are extremely addictive and can lead to significant health problems, such as an increased risk of overdose and infectious diseases.

Heroin is a particularly dangerous drug and can be extremely addictive. It is made from morphine, which is derived from opium poppy plants. The effects of heroin can last for several hours, and it can be dangerous in high doses. The withdrawal symptoms of heroin can be severe and can last for several days.

Synthetic Opiates

Synthetic opiates are drugs that are chemically manufactured in a lab. Examples of these drugs include meperidine, methadone, and buprenorphine. These drugs are typically used to treat moderate to severe pain, and are available in a variety of forms, including tablets, liquids, and injectables. Synthetic opiates can be highly addictive and should only be used as directed by a doctor.

Synthetic opiates can also lead to tolerance and physical dependence. The withdrawal symptoms of synthetic opiates can be severe and can include nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, and insomnia. Long-term use of these drugs can also lead to serious health problems, such as liver and kidney damage.

Opiates vs. Opioids

It is important to note that the terms “opiates” and “opioids” are often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to two different classes of drugs. Opiates are drugs that are derived from the opium poppy plant, while opioids are drugs that are either synthetic or semi-synthetic. Examples of opioids include fentanyl, oxycodone, and buprenorphine. Both opiates and opioids bind to opioid receptors in the brain and body, producing feelings of pain relief and euphoria.

Risks of Opiate Use

Opiate use can lead to a variety of health risks, including physical and psychological dependence. The use of opiates can also lead to overdose and death. Long-term use of opiates can also lead to serious health problems, such as liver and kidney damage.

Physical Risks of Opiate Use

The use of opiates can lead to physical dependence, which can result in withdrawal symptoms if the drug is suddenly stopped. Long-term use of opiates can also lead to tolerance, where higher doses of the drug are required to achieve the same effect. Opiate use can also lead to serious health problems, such as liver and kidney damage.

Psychological Risks of Opiate Use

The use of opiates can lead to psychological dependence, which can result in cravings and intense urges to use the drug. Long-term use of opiates can also lead to depression and anxiety, as well as changes in behaviour. These changes can include increased risk-taking behaviours and impaired judgement.

Overdose Risks of Opiate Use

The use of opiates can lead to an increased risk of overdose, which can be life-threatening. Overdose symptoms can include shallow breathing, blue skin, loss of consciousness, and coma. In the event of an overdose, it is important to seek medical help immediately.

Top 6 Frequently Asked Questions

What Drugs Are Classified as Opiates?

Answer: Opiates are a class of drugs that are derived from the opium poppy plant, and they include drugs such as codeine, morphine, heroin, hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, and fentanyl. These drugs are used to treat pain and are highly addictive due to their euphoric effects.

How Are Opiates Used?

Answer: Opiates are typically used to treat moderate to severe pain, and they can be taken orally or administered intravenously or intramuscularly. They are also sometimes used to treat coughs and diarrhea, as well as to manage opioid addiction.

What Are the Side Effects of Opiates?

Answer: Common side effects of opiates include nausea, constipation, sedation, confusion, and respiratory depression. Long-term use can lead to physical and psychological dependence, and it can also cause liver damage, heart problems, and an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer.

What Are the Risks of Taking Opiates?

Answer: Taking opiates carries a number of risks, including an increased risk of developing an addiction, overdosing, and suffering from various short- and long-term side effects. Additionally, there is a risk of serious respiratory depression and death if opiates are taken in large doses or in combination with other drugs or alcohol.

Are Opiates Legal?

Answer: Opiates are regulated by the government and are only available with a prescription from a doctor. In some cases, they may be available over-the-counter, but they are generally only available when prescribed. Illegal forms of opiates, such as heroin, are illegal and highly dangerous.

What Are the Treatments for Opiate Addiction?

Answer: Treatments for opiate addiction can vary depending on the individual and the severity of their addiction. Treatment typically includes a combination of medication, counseling, and support groups to help the individual manage their addiction. Medications such as buprenorphine and methadone can be used to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings, while counseling and support groups can provide emotional and social support.

Opioids || Classification and examples

In conclusion, opiates are a class of drugs derived from the opium poppy plant that can produce a range of effects, from mild euphoria to intense sedation. They are used in medical settings to treat pain, and in recreational settings to produce a sense of euphoria. Opiates can be extremely addictive and dangerous if taken in large doses or without the supervision of a doctor. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and to take opiates only when prescribed and under the supervision of a healthcare professional.

Mark Halsey is a licensed therapist, founder, and chief editor of Clean Break Recovery. With over a decade of addiction treatment experience, Mark deeply understands the complex needs of those struggling with addiction and utilizes a comprehensive and holistic approach to address them. He is well-versed in traditional and innovative therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness-based interventions.

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