There are many types of opiate drugs, with most being used for the medical purpose of relieving moderate to severe pain.
Some people start out taking an opiate for a medical reason and then develop an addiction. Others begin to take this drug illegally, getting it from a friend or family member.
Opiate drugs are highly addictive, which is why you should only take it if being followed closely by a doctor. Your medical professional can provide you with guidance from beginning to end, helping you get the most out of the drug without becoming addicted.
Here are some of the most commonly abused opiate drugs:
- Codeine. Codeine has been in existence for nearly 200 years and is found in a variety of pharmaceutical products. As an opiate agonist with sedative properties, this is a commonly abused drug that can have many side effects.
- Demerol. Similar in many ways to morphine, the primary effects of Demerol are sedation and analgesia. Demerol is prescribed by medical professionals to people dealing with moderate to severe pain, such as following a surgery or other type of procedure.
- Morphine. One of the most powerful analgesic narcotic drugs, morphine has long been used to relieve pain. Unfortunately, it has also become popular among those who take it illegally, thanks to its ability to cause euphoria and other related symptoms.
- Hydrocodone. In addition to its ability to relieve pain, hydrocodone has been proven effective when used at the same time as other drugs, such as ibuprofen. Hydrocodone is also used in some anti-cough medicines.
- Heroin. As one of the most addictive drugs in the world, this opiate has become a serious problem on many levels. Not only can it quickly lead to abuse and addiction, but heroin overdose is a very real possibility.
Heroin derives from morphine and is typically white or brown powder. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than four million Americans over the age of 12 used heroin at least once in their life (as of 2011). Additionally, the organization found that roughly 23 percent of people who use the drug develop a dependency.
If you or a loved one is abusing one or more of the drugs above, it is important to learn more about the risks as well as the many types of treatment that exist. Even in the most severe cases, it is possible to overcome an opiate addiction.