Effects of Opiates & Opioids

In describing one’s use of narcotics, a number of individuals oftentimes use two separate words; the first being opiates and the second being opioids. While both are similar in sound and even in spelling, several fail to realize the difference between each, resulting in both misuse and confusion for those who are unaware. First and foremost are opiates which are “drugs containing or derived from opium that tends to induce sleep and alleviate pain broadly.” And second are opioids which are not made from opium, as some may expect, but are instead “a compound resembling opium in addictive properties or psychological effects.” 

Some examples of certain opiates are; “Morphine (Kadian, MS Contin), Codeine, Thebaine, and Papaverine.” While some opioids are listed as follows, “Codeine, Fentanyl, Heroin, etc.” Unfortunately, many of the drugs above often start out as prescription medication, before stemming into that of a full fledged addiction. That’s why it’s of great importance that such substances be taken with extreme caution, due to the fact that each aids in the release of endorphins, which bring about a great sense of calm and relaxation. Many of us experience this state of euphoria on a daily basis, which comes in the form of endorphins, as a plethora of activities may aid in their release, no matter whether it be through something as simple as eating a piece of chocolate or encountering a runner’s high.

Another factor is the pain relief that comes via the substance itself. In fact, this is one of the most common ways addicts find themselves wrestling with addiction because even after the pain subsides, each finds himself/herself wanting more. It then becomes a need in one’s eyes because even when the effect of the substance has worn off, the individual still finds himself/herself left feeling unsatisfied. Soon that person’s tolerance begins to build up, along with the risk or chance of overdosing. And as a result, pleasure that once came from the drug, suddenly transitions to pain, as the person finds himself/herself experiencing withdrawals, and struggling to break a life threatening opiate/opioid addiction. Fortunately, despite the difficulty that comes with overcoming, there is still hope for the individual, especially when he/she recognizes the problem he/she is faced with sooner rather than later. Once that is done, he/she can take the needed and necessary steps in order to head down the road to recovery.

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