Opiates Vs Opioids
First off let’s define Opiates vs Opioids. Opiates are drugs derived from the opium plant. In earlier years opioids stricly meant synthetic opiates. These were created in a lab, thus the term synthetic. They were designed to behave like opium, but on a base level they are different. Today however, the term Opioid is used to describe the whole family of opiates. Both natural synthetic and hybrids (semi synthetic).
Opioids are drugs that affect the opioid receptors in the brain and in the spinal cord. They reduce the intensity of the pain and how the body responds to it. Opioids also work in the brain areas that control emotions, it can further decrease the painful stimuli.
For centuries, medical practitioners used opioids to treat a cough, pain even diarrhea.
Typically, opioids are used to treat acute or severe pain. Since the 90s opioids have increasingly used as a treatment for chronic pain. Even if little evidence proving its effectiveness.
Correspondingly, there are reports that people suffer from an illness known as hyperalgesia. Hyperalgesia is a condition which increases a person’s sensitivity to pain because of opioid treatments.
Aside from relieving pain, opioids also affect the reward system of the brain resulting in a state of euphoria. Providing this kind of ‘high’ feeling is one of the main reasons for the misuse of the drug that eventually lead to addiction.
Opioids contain the same chemical components of heroin. These drugs first synthesized from morphine in the late 19th century. Similarly, these properties present a greater risk of addiction and overdose. Even when a person is following legitimate prescriptions.
Opioids work in attaching themselves to the opioid receptor proteins. These are found on the nerve cells in the spinal cord, brain, digestive system and other organs in the body. Once attached to the receptors, they decrease the pain signal transmissions.
Known effects of opioids include:
Also, opioids affect the reward system in the brain inducing euphoria. When taken in higher dosages or administered in other ways than prescribed it can intensify its effects.
Some people take drugs in other ways than prescribed to intensify its effects. For example, a drug was prescribed as an oral medication to have a steady, constant release of the opioid. People often change its form in preparation for injecting or snorting the drug. It generates a greater chance of getting medical complications even drug overdose.
In 2012, heroin addiction plagued the United States. More than 2 million Americans suffered from opioid painkiller abuse. Opiate abuse can result to many health complications and more often than not leads to death because of overdose.
The side effects of opiate painkillers can induce daytime sleepiness or drowsiness.
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Dr. Vikram Tarugu, M.D, is the CEO of Detox of South Florida, Inc and medical professional focused on addiction. A veteran in the medical field with over 25 years of professional experience. He is a consultant for many South Florida Rehab centers. Patients travel from allover the US to seek his help with addiction and Hepatitis C treatment.
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