Opiates are derived from the poppy plant, which produces opium, and is a highly addictive substance. Opium is used in many narcotic prescription medications and it is the main ingredient in heroin. Opiates are narcotic drugs, which must only be taken under the supervision of a medical doctor. Any other means of obtaining and using opiates is considered illegal and is extremely detrimental to your health.
Opiates travel directly to the body’s natural opioid receptors and change the perception of pain, which also creates euphoria-causing cravings in addicts.
Opiates work on three areas of the brain and nervous system:
- The limbic system – controls emotions.
- The brain stem – controls automatic functions, like breathing.
- The spinal cord – transmits sensations to the body.
Taking more opiates than prescribed or obtaining and using opiates illegally will create physical complications and significant distress in employment, relationships and one’s social life.
Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms
Once opiates are removed from the body, the brain’s neurological response is immediate. Within hours, the nervous system responds to the lack of opiates and begins overproducing its own endorphins, sending the body into withdrawal. Opiate withdrawal symptoms begin 48-72 hours after an individual’s last use and can last from one week to two weeks. Withdrawal is based upon frequency and duration of use. Some addicts may experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms and psychological withdrawal with some manifestations of physical sickness up to 6 months after the initial physical withdrawal.