What are the two main effects of Opiates

What are the two main effects of Opiates?

Opiates belong to the class of narcotics. These were discovered by Friedrich Wilhelm Adam Sertürner ( a German scientist) from the poppy plant. Usually, the term opiate is confused with opioid. However both the terminologies resemble in their meaning but there is little difference between two main effects of Opiates.

Opioids

Opioids include chemicals that are obtained from both natural and artificial sources.

Natural source: It is derived from opium that is obtained from the poppy plant (botanical name: Papaver somniferum).

Naturally formed opioid-like chemicals are also formed inside our body that perform several physiological functions. These are also included in opioids

Artificial source: Opioids are also synthesized artificially in the laboratory for pharmacological or other purposes.

Opiates

Opiates are chemicals that are obtained only from the natural source.

Opioid receptors

Opioids act on the opioid receptors that are located in brain, spinal cord and also in other parts of the body. Our body also synthesise opioid like chemical substances that are named as endorphins. These endorphins also act on the same opioid receptors and produce the same effect as that of opioids.

Mechanism of action

When opioids get attached to their opioid receptors they inhibit the release of neurotransmitter thus prevent the input signal of pain to be perceived by the brain.

It produces the analgesic effect same like morphine and body’s natural pain killer chemicals (endorphins).

Systems affected by opioids

Opioids have their action on many systems of the body including

  • Immune system
  • Digestive system
  • Respiratory system
  • Central nervous system

Two main Effects of opioids:

Though there are too many effects of opioids but the major two effects are CNS depressing action and pain killer effect Other effects include

  • Slowing of the respiratory rate
  • Slowing of digestion leading to constipation
  • Euphorbia (Making someone to feel high)
  • Relaxant
  • Mood changes

Side effects

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Coma
  • Death

Fatal effects:

  • Respiratory arrest
  • Addiction
  • Obstruction of gut
  • Reduced immune response

Addiction of opioids

They are also termed as narcotics due to their addictive proportion. Opioids were initially used as the pain reliever, but it develops tolerance in the body which means that higher doses than before are required to produce same analgesic ( pain killer) activity.

As the person starts taking higher doses, it gradually goes on increasing with passage of time and the person gets addicted to it.

It is estimated that more than two million people are using opioids as pain reliever in United States (US). The prescription rate of opioids as pain killer is also very high.

Conclusion

Thought opioids have therapeutic effect of relieving pain and can be used in treating pains of back, tooth or any injury but it must always be used with caution because it is seen that more than 60% of the people get addicted to opium who have initiated its use just for therapeutic purpose.

It can lead to many devastating outcomes that become difficult to overcome. One of the most irreversible side effect of its addiction is death.

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