Opiates are among the world’s oldest known drugs and include heroin, morphine, codeine, Oxycontin, Dilaudid, methadone, and others.
Opiates are among the world’s oldest known drugs and include heroin, morphine, codeine, Oxycontin, Dilaudid, methadone, and others. The use of the opium poppy for its therapeutic benefits predates recorded history. The analgesic (pain-killing) effects of opiates are due to decreased perception of pain, decreased reaction to pain as well as an increase in pain tolerance. The side effects of opioids include sedation, respiratory depression, constipation, and a strong sense of euphoria. Opioid dependence can develop with ongoing administration, leading to a withdrawal syndrome with abrupt discontinuation.
Opiates are well known for their ability to produce a feeling of euphoria. Due to these euphoric feelings, along with their capacity to alleviate pain, opioids are a candidate for addiction.
Early withdrawal symptoms include agitation, anxiety, muscle aches, insomnia, sweating, and tremors. Late symptoms of withdrawal include abdominal cramping, diarrhea, goose bumps, nausea, and vomiting.
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