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Definition - What does opiate mean?

An opiate is a natural substance contained in opium. Opiates effect the central nervous system to relieve pain and can also create non-medically desired effects such as confusion or euphoria depending on the dose taken. Morphine, codeine, thebaine, papaverine and noscapine are among the many types drugs in the opiate category. Opiate medications are available in a variety of forms including pills, skin patches, controlled analgesic pump, or rectal suppositories. The drugs are only legally available with a prescription. However, optiate drugs are one of the largest classes of abused drugs.

SureHire explains opiate

Opiates usually prescribed for pain relief. They are classified as full agonists (morphine, codeine) which act as receptor agonists, antagonists (naloxone) block receptors and partial/mixed agonists (pentazocine) block to a specific receptor. The most important opiates receptors are the receiving MU (µ), this receptor is associated with pain relief, respiratory depression, sedation, euphoria, constipation and physical dependence.

Because of the euphoria and pain relief combined with a highly addictive quality, opiates quickly because a highly abused drug class. The abuse of these substances can cause counterproductive effects on people. Adverse side effects or drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, constipation, among others. It is advisable to gradually reduce the use of opiates because of the side effects that may result from the abrupt abstinence due to the mental or physical dependency that occur in consumers.

Opiates are one of the most commonly tested for drugs in the workplace because of their prevalence and the serious nature of the risk of someone performing a safety-sensative position while under its influence.

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