Short-Term Effects of Opiates

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Opiate use can lead to an array of potential health hazards including an increased risk of overdose and the possibility of death. Short term effects of opiate abuse can result in great tragedy for the user if overdose or other serious complications should occur outside of the immediate care of a medical professional. While not all short term effects of opiates are dangerous or deadly, the potential for fatal outcomes is always present when opiates such as heroin, Oxycontin or other prescription painkillers are being abuse.


The immediate short term effects of opiates are generally analgesia or pain relief. The analgesic qualities of opiates and opioids are the primary reason why these drugs are prescribed openly to millions of people each year. Unfortunately, the analgesic effects of these drugs is short lived and the dangers that come as a result of using these drugs far outweigh the benefits for some.



Opiate side effects include nausea and constipation.

One of the most common short term effects of opiates is constipation. In fact, certain opiates were once widely prescribed in the treatment of chronic diarrhea as a means of preventing bowel movements. The constipation that arises when opiates are used can actually become severe and may even warrant the need for medical treatment.


Many people who take opiates experience strong bouts of nausea and vomiting when they use these drugs. Those who do experience nausea often report that the upset stomach doesn’t go away even when the drug is used consecutively for many weeks or months.


Most users report feeling dizzy or having a lack of coordination when using opiates. This is one of the less serious short term effects of opiates but it can lead way to injury if the user attempts to walk or perform certain activities while under the influence.

Respiratory Depression

According to PubMed, opiate use can lead to respiratory depression. This is one of the more serious short term effects of opiates as a severe case of respiratory depression can cause heart attack, stroke, convulsions, seizures or other serious complications.

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