Opiates and their Effect on the Central Nervous System

Opiates attach themselves to mu receptors
Opiates work on the nerve transmitters in the brain, along the spinal cord that signal pain.

Opiates are prescribed for pain, or even in some forms for an intense, painful cough. Commonly prescribed opiates are:

• Morphine

 Codeine (often prescribed as Tylenol-3)




Heroin is an illegal opiate and is extremely dangerous because of it is often cut with unknown substances. All opiates are derived from the opium poppy, and are addictive because of their
euphoric effect they give the user.

How Opiates Work for Pain

Opiates attach themselves to mu receptors which are reside on the sub synaptic membrane which are neurons that transmit pain signals, thus suppressing those signals from reaching the body. The problem is that long-term use of opiates can cause brain damage including suppressing the brain’s ability to create natural pain reducers like dopamine.


Other risks to opiate use are tolerance and addiction. Tolerance is when you need to take more than originally prescribed to achieve the desired effects, and addiction is when you are no longer using the drug solely for medical purposes, but are also using it recreationally and have gained a tolerance to it. If you are using an opiate, such as heroin, intravenously you are also putting yourself at risk of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and clogged blood vessels or the veins collapsing entirely.

Symptoms of Addiction:

• Nausea and vomiting

• Suppression of the respiratory system

• Hallucinations

• Coma

• Increased possibility of choking

If You Believe You are Addicted to Opiates

If you have been using opiates, whether it is for recreational purposes or medically, and you have developed a tolerance for them you have become addicted and will need medical attention to detoxify from the drug in order to successfully abstain from them. While methadone is commonly used to get people off heroin, beware that this method is simply trading one addiction for another. Other common methods are replacing the drug with suboxone or subutex. Know that neither of these two drugs are meant for long-term use either, but rather as a stepping stone for getting the user off of opiates.

Following up your detox with a treatment plan such as in a drug rehabilitation program is essential to ensure continual abstinence. Though the road to recovery is not going to be easy, you will find that the freedom from the vigorous addiction you have been living with will be well worth the work.

Distributed by Client Initiatives

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