According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse in 2010, an estimated 7 million people were using psychotherapeutic drugs, all of which were taken illegally. These statistics, while staggering, account for about 2.7 percent of the population of the United States.
Opiates are a very strong, addictive quality drug, which is derived from the seedpod a poppy plant and has been used as an analgesic to relieve pain dating back to the Greek gods. Clearly this drug is a narcotic but it also has two forms, it can be a natural or a synthetic drug. Unfortunately this drug, although it can be taken legally, has become one of the most commonly abused drugs worldwide. An opiate works as a depressant and will slow down a person’s central nervous system and the processes associated with the entire central nervous system. The long term continued use of opiates can have damaging effects on almost every part of a person’s body. This opiates list shows all of the different kinds of opiates.
- Opium– a rusty colored strong smelling drug that originates from the juice of the opium poppy, this drug is a very addictive narcotic and is used as an analgesic.
- Morphine– white crystalline substance with a bitter taste taken from the opium poppy used to relieve pain.
- Codeine– white crystalline substance with a slightly bitter taste extracted from the opium poppy.
Synthetic and Semisynthetic Opiates
Opioids are the man made or synthetic form of opiates. These substances are like opiates however they do not fall under the “natural” category. They are not directly taken from the poppy plant and used in its natural form as compared to an opiate. Similar in nature to the opiate, these drugs are also used as an analgesic and are highly addictive. When we look into synthetic opiates we can break them down into two categories: synthetic and semisynthetic drugs.
While the natural opiate drugs can produce some very powerful effects on the brain and body, many synthetic and semisynthetic varieties have much stronger analgesic properties. Since these synthetic varieties start out in laboratories or on the street, these drugs can be produced even stronger than opium.
Semisynthetic opiates are generally mixed with small quantities of natural alkaloids, which makes them qualify as part of the opiate family.
Synthetic Opioids Are:
- Heroin-which is an opioid made from morphine; Heroin is an illegal drug.
List of Semisynthetic Opiates
- Oxymorphone – which contains thebaine
- Hydrocodone – which contains codeine
- Oxycodone – which contains thebaine
- Hydromorphone – which contains morphine
All prescription opiates are effective in their treatment of pain; with any type of opiate, especially abuse, there is always a risk of addiction.
Methadone and buprenorphine, although they are pain relievers have a tendency to produce a more controlled effect than of the other opiates. Due to the more controlled effect these drugs are used more often in the treatment of addiction.