Opiates are drugs that all come
from a liquid from a poppy plant called opium. A surprising number
of narcotics come from the poppy including morphine, heroin and
codeine. You may recognize morphine and codeine from our prescription
drug abuse pages but prescriptions are synthetic or man-made versions
of what is naturally found in the poppy plant.
Since they all come from the same
place it may not be surprising to learn that these different drugs
in the opiate category basically affect the drug user in the same
way. An initial feeling of euphoria is followed by a sleepiness
also know by opiate users as “nodding” describing
the head bobbing action of a person who is dozing off.
Heroin, morphine, codeine and
all other synthetic opiates affect the brains reward system and
blocks pain center which explains why opiate users do not feel
hunger and often lack proper nutrition. Other physical consequences
of consistent opiate use are dependence, infection of the heart,
liver disease and breathing problems. Even individuals using opiates
for the first time are at tremendous risk of over dosing and death
if they use an amount large enough to stop breathing.
Opiate addiction occurs when the
brain begins to require the drug in order to function “normally.”
The withdrawal symptoms from opiates are some of the most devastating
of all drugs in terms of feeling terribly sick. Heroin and other
types of opiate users find that they must use the drug quite frequently
just to feel right and function. This can set opiate addicts apart
from other drug users whose consequences are often more obvious.
Opiate addicts tend to be more secretive about their using and
can go undetected for years.
Opiate addiction is hardly a new
phenomenon and has been around for centuries. Fortunately this
means that there is a very predictable path to recovery that has
helped thousands of people recover from opiate addiction. If you
or a loved one needs help seek treatment today.