What are opiate drugs? Opiates, otherwise known as painkillers, are extremely dangerous and potent substances that can seriously affect an individual’s physical and mental health.

What Are Opiate Drugs?

The opiates definition is “a drug containing or derived from opium and tending to induce sleep and alleviate pain.” Some examples of opiates are (https://www.naabt.org/faq_answers.cfm?ID=4):

  • Morphine
  • Percocet
  • OxyContin
  • Vicodin
  • Methadone
  • Demerol
  • Oxycodone
  • Heroin
  • And more

How Long Do Opiates Remain in Your System?

This answer ranges depending on the half-life of each opiate drug, as well as which test is being conducted. Each drug has a different half-life that can determine how long it will stay in your system, and each type of test can detect the amount of time it has been in your system. The most common tests for opiates are:

  • Urine tests
  • Blood tests
  • Saliva tests
  • Hair tests

How Do Opiates Affect Your Body?

The consumption of opiates can result in many short-term and long-term consequences on your health. Each part of the body will be affected in different ways.

Brain — What are opiate drugs effects on the brain? Since opiates induce sleep, many people will experience sleepiness during the day. Drowsiness, slipping in and out of consciousness, and sedation are all effects that opiates have on the brain. Painkillers also increase an individual’s risk of developing depression.

Nervous System — With a long-term use of opiate drugs, the nervous system may become affected. Hyperalgesia, or a syndrome where individuals feel increased sensitivity to pain, can come as a result of opiate use. Painkillers can also slow movements and result in a lack of coordination.

Respiratory System — Opiate drugs slow down a person’s breathing, so respiratory problems such as respiratory depression may arise. These breathing problems can relieve the body of getting enough oxygen, so this effect can result in death.

Digestive System — Painkillers slow all of the muscles in the digestive system, so constipation can occur as a result. When correlated with opiate usage, chronic constipation can lead to other serious digestive system problems such as small bowel obstruction. Nausea and vomiting are also a result of opiate use.

Liver — Many opiates contain acetaminophen, which can cause liver damage and/or acetaminophen toxicity. Many opiate users also consume alcohol and the combination of the two substances make it even harder on the liver.

Immune System — Opiates suppress the immune system, which increases a person’s chances of getting an infection. Painkilling drugs hinder the immune system’s response to infection.

The Dangers of Injecting Opiates

  • Septic pulmonary embolism (a lung disease) and tuberculosis infections can result from injecting heroin
  • Sharing needles can result in Hepatitis C and/or HIV
  • Contaminants in the drugs can clog an individual’s blood vessels leading to damage of the major organs
  • Veins are more likely to collapse with constant substance injection
  • Endocarditis, or an infection in the lining of the heart, can stem from the contaminants getting in the injection site of heroin

Treatment for an Opiates Addiction

The number of people dying from painkiller addiction is increasing annually. It is important that if you do think you have a problem, you get help right away. One thing to consider when trying to achieve long-term sobriety is not to quit cold turkey style (abruptly stopping all consumption of the drug). Seek help from medical professionals instead. They will wean you off of the drug so that you don’t experience the harsh withdrawal symptoms.

Find a treatment facility that provides a holistic approach to recovery, meaning that it tries to enhance the entire person’s well-being. By improving their mental health and implementing spirituality, the health of the body will follow. If you think you are suffering from addiction, get professional help now. Call Stop Your Addiction today.