Opiates are a class of drugs that come from the opium poppy plant and include drugs such as opium, morphine, and heroin. All opiates have similar effects on the brain, producing a sense of euphoria and can be very addictive. Because of its addictive nature, withdrawal symptoms and risk of relapse, opiate rehabilitation typically requires an opiate addiction treatment center in Oregon that provides inpatient program, counseling, and post heroin addiction treatment support.
What are Opiates?
Opiates are a class of drugs that come from the opium poppy plant. People use the terms opiates and opioids interchangeably but they represent different drugs. Opiates are natural derivatives of the opioid plants and include drugs like opium and morphine. Opioids, on the other hand, are synthesized derivatives of morphine and include drugs such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, heroin, and fentanyl.
Most opiates and opioids are commonly used for prescription pain relief and include prescription drugs such as Dilaudid, oxycodone, and fentanyl. Other drugs such as heroin, on the other hand, are strictly illegal.
All opiates, including opioids, have the same effect on the human brain. They bind to a group of receptors called the opioid receptors. The opioid receptors are involved in the regulation of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and GABA which are involved in pain perception and regulation.
Opioids and opiates also produce a sense of euphoria, when the Sumerians referred to opium as the “joy plant” in 3400 BC. Opioids are highly addictive because of their effect on the reward center of the brain. The reward center releases neurotransmitters such as dopamine in response to pleasurable activities such as working out, eating or sex.
Under normal circumstances, the reward center can assist in positive reinforcement and can help to build positive habits such as exercise and spending time with friends. Drugs such as opioids, however, can hijack the reward center, becoming associated with the pleasurable reward sensation and become habituated.
Over time, the body also becomes acclimated to opioids, requiring a higher dose to achieve the same high in a phenomenon called tolerance. The combination of its effect on the reward center and tolerance is what makes opioids and opiates so addictive.
The effects of opioid and opiates abuse include:
Opioid abuse and overdose have reached crisis proportions in the United States. Every day, more than 130 people per day die from an opioid overdose. The symptoms of opioid overdose include:
- Constricted pupils
- Slow, erratic breathing and heart rate
- Blue or grey tinged skin
If you observe someone experiencing these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. You can treat opioid overdoses with Naloxone, an opioid antagonist.
Opioid Addiction Treatment Center in Oregon
If you are seeking relief from the nightmare of opioid addiction, seek an opiate addiction treatment center in Oregon. A heroin addiction treatment center will offer rehabilitation services such as medically assisted withdrawal management, counseling and post-rehab services such as a 12-Step Program. Whatever program you choose, the most important thing is to seek help immediately.