What is an opiate drug?


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Deborah Mann answered
An opiate drug is one that contains some form of opium, whether it is synthetic or natural. It is used in hospitals and other medical institutions to help ease any extreme levels of pain that a patient may be feeling.

  • Different kinds of opiate drugs

There are many opiate drugs, both synthetic and naturally occurring, all of which are highly addictive when misused or used for a prolonged amount of time, both mentally and physically. Also, when opiate drugs are not prescribed, there is a high risk of death by overdose.

Morphine is probably the most well known natural opiate drug in the world, but there are others that are readily used, such as codeine.

Heroin is a semi-synthetic opiate drug, as is oxycodone, hydromorphone, hydrocodone, and meperidine.

Finally there are the fully synthetic drugs, which include methadone, fentanyl, pentazocine, and propoxyphene.

  • Where do opiate drugs come from?

Natural opium comes from the seeds and the seed pod of the plant poppy. Of all of those listed, heroin is the most addictive, followed closely by morphine.

Semi-synthetic opiates come from morphine, and so are less addictive. Synthetic opium comes from a series of chemical reactions that include the use of dichlorodiethyl and benzyl cyanide.

  • Side effects of these types of drugs.

Opiate drugs are extremely strong and so, when used for a long time, can have various implications upon a person's health, such as kidney disease, liver disease, and heart disease.

These drugs also have a variety of other effects, including difficulties in concentrating, drowsiness, slowed breathing, impaired vision, and sometimes even anxiety issues.  Constipation, vomiting, reduced appetite and nausea have also been found to be common occurrences after the consumption of such drugs.

Addiction is also a serious side effect: When the drug is not available mood swings and increased sensitivity to anything that may cause pain are common.

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