Opiates are derived from the opium that is produced from the poppy plant. Morphine and codeine are opiates that are commonly given to patients from doctors to help the patients deal with moderate to severe pain. Opiate usage is meant to be short lived, unless it is for patients who suffer from a life threatening or lifelong disease.
Many people, who take opiates for long periods of time, whether legally or illegally, form opiate dependence and can suffer severe withdrawals from the drug if they do not have it, or enough of it, in their system.
Opiates are commonly mixed with other pain relievers and manmade substances to form opioids. Opioids are the common proscription pills that people get to take home with them when they need to take strong pain relievers daily; common opioids that people take are, OxyContin, Percocet, and Percodan. Opioids are also highly abused by people who purchase them illegally, and the abuse of opioids has increased throughout the years by people taking them for recreational use; this common abuse of the drug often leads to opiate dependence.
How Opiate Dependence Begins
In order for a person to become dependent on opiates they must first start to use the drug. Some people are given opiates in the hospital to help ease their pain while others are prescribed opiates to take orally from the comforts of their own home to ease their pain. Other people may have friends who abuse opiates to feel good and decide to try the drug with their friends, while some people may find a prescription bottle in a loved one’s medicine cabinet and decide to try the drug out that way. No matter the reason for the first contact with opiates, all it takes is one usage for some people to continue to want to use the drug.
Opiates are highly addictive and highly pleasurable to many people. Opiates block pain receivers in a person’s body causing them to feel little to no pain and produce sedative effects causing a person to feel greatly relaxed. Many people feel a warm tingling sensation when first exposed to opiates causing a euphoric rush to flow through their body, which also is highly pleasurable for some people.
Because of the effects that opiates have on a person, people tend to want to take more and more of the drug to feel the pleasure they first felt when taking the drug. On the other hand, some people are given the drug to help them deal with pain for an illness and only take the drug to help them through the illness and pain that they are experiencing; these people may develop a dependency on the drug without having a choice because they need to take the drug on a daily basis.
According to www.psychcentral.com, a person is said to have physical opioid dependence if they have high tolerance of opioids, meaning they need more of the opioid to get the desired effect.
A person can form an addiction to opiates quickly but a dependency takes longer to form, but if a person continues to use the drug for a long period of time they will eventually become dependent on the drug and have painful withdrawal symptoms if they ever stop taking opiates.