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What Meds Are 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 powerful prescription medications, opiates are among the most potent. Used to treat pain, opiates are powerful drugs derived from the poppy plant and can be highly addictive if misused. In this article, we’ll discuss what opiates are, the different types of opiates, and their potential dangers. We’ll also discuss why it’s important to take opiates only under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional.

What Meds Are Opiates?

What are Opiate Medications?

Opiate medications are drugs that are derived from the opium poppy plant. They are used to treat pain, often in the form of an opioid analgesic. Opiate medications are highly addictive and can be dangerous if misused. Common opiate medications include heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, and morphine.

Opiate medications are classified as Schedule II drugs by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. This means that they have a high potential for abuse and addiction, and can only be legally obtained with a prescription from a licensed medical professional. It is important to follow the directions for taking opiate medications precisely, as taking too much can lead to serious health risks.

How Do Opiate Medications Work?

Opiate medications work by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and body. These receptors are responsible for regulating pain and emotions. When opiate medications bind to these receptors, they block the transmission of pain signals, resulting in a reduction in pain sensation. They also cause the brain to release endorphins and other hormones, resulting in a feeling of euphoria and relaxation.

Opiate medications can be taken orally, as a pill, or by injection. The effects of opiate medications can last for four to six hours, depending on the dose and the individual’s metabolism. People who take opiate medications can quickly become addicted to the drugs, as they can cause a feeling of intense pleasure and relaxation.

Short-Term Effects of Opiate Medications

The short-term effects of opiate medications can vary depending on the individual and the dose taken. Common short-term effects include:

• Drowsiness

• Confusion
• Nausea
• Constipation
• Slowed breathing
• Slowed heart rate

It is important to note that these effects can become more intense with higher doses or if the drugs are taken in combination with alcohol or other drugs.

Long-Term Effects of Opiate Medications

The long-term effects of opiate medications can be quite serious. Prolonged use of opiate medications can lead to physical and psychological dependence, tolerance, and addiction. Other long-term effects of opiate medications include:

• Liver damage
• Kidney damage
• Gastrointestinal problems
• Impaired judgment
• Memory loss
• Depression
• Anxiety

Long-term use of opiate medications can also increase the risk of overdose and other life-threatening complications.

Conclusion

Opiate medications are powerful drugs that can have serious short- and long-term effects. They are highly addictive and can lead to physical and psychological dependence. It is important to only take opiate medications as prescribed by a medical professional, and to never combine them with alcohol or other drugs.

Few Frequently Asked Questions

What are Opiates?

Opiates are a class of drugs that are derived from the opium poppy plant. They act on the brain and body to reduce pain and produce a feeling of euphoria. Opiates include both prescription drugs such as morphine, codeine and oxycodone, as well as illicit drugs like heroin.

What are the Side Effects of Opiates?

The side effects of opiates can vary depending on the dose, frequency and type of drug used. Common side effects include constipation, nausea, drowsiness, confusion, and slowed breathing. Long-term use of opiates can lead to addiction, tolerance, and physical and psychological dependence.

What Meds Are Opiates?

Prescription opiates include morphine, codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, oxymorphone, hydromorphone, meperidine, and fentanyl. These drugs are commonly prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain, as well as coughing and diarrhea.

Are All Opiates Prescription Drugs?

No, not all opiates are prescription drugs. Heroin is an illicit drug that is derived from the opium poppy plant and acts on the brain and body in a similar way as prescription opiates.

What Are Opioid Receptor Agonists?

Opioid receptor agonists are drugs that bind to and activate opioid receptors in the brain, leading to an increased release of serotonin and dopamine. These drugs, such as oxycodone, codeine and fentanyl, produce a feeling of euphoria and help reduce pain.

Are There Any Over-the-Counter Opiate Meds?

No, there are no over-the-counter opiate medications. All opiate medications require a prescription from a doctor. Over-the-counter medications that may provide relief from pain include ibuprofen, acetaminophen and naproxen.

This Is What Happens to Your Brain on Opioids | Short Film Showcase

In conclusion, opiates are a powerful class of medications used to treat acute and chronic pain. They are highly effective, but also have a high risk of addiction, abuse and misuse. If you or someone you know is considering using opiates, it is important to talk to a doctor or other healthcare professional to discuss the risks, benefits and side effects. Ultimately, opiates can be an effective form of pain relief when used correctly, but must be taken with care and attention.

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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