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Opium-Related Painkillers

What are Prescription Opioids?

Opioids also known as an “opiate” are a class of drugs that are found in the opium poppy plant. Opioids work in a variety of ways, changing specific chemicals in the brain to produce a “high” feeling. When someone takes opioid drugs it is typically as pain relievers, and they are referred to as painkillers.

The most commonly used opioid drugs are:

  • Morphine (Kadian, Avinza)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet)
  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)

An opioid or opiate can be medically necessary, based on medical needs, prescribed by a doctor as a medication to treat moderate to severe pain and block pain signals between the brain and the body. Along with being a painkiller, opioids can also create a sensation of feeling relaxed, happy or “high.” Because of these calming effects, it is easy to fall into opioid addiction and be heavily abused.

Side Effects

Some of the most common health side effects and symptoms when using drug opioids or opiates include:

  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Lethargy
  • Dry mouth
  • Respiratory depression
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Itching
  • Flushing
  • Constipation
  • Mental fog

Although opioids are usually used for pain relief, people can begin to build a tolerance to opioids and experience either withdrawal or detox symptoms when discontinuing opioid use. There is a risk for addiction, abuse and potentially overdose.

If you are using opioids and are concerned that you are addicted and need treatment, please reach out to us at AToN Center for more information on our addiction treatment and rehab recovery programs. We treat alcohol and drug addiction, including opioid addiction, and can help get your life back, free from drugs and alcohol.

Opioids Versus Opiates

Prescription Opioids and opiates are very similar drugs that are painkillers derived from the opium plan and they both bind to the opioid receptors in the brain such as those that control pleasure, pain, and addictive behaviors, and are both substances.

An opiate is a natural substance that is derived from the opium poppy plant and can include morphine, heroin, and codeine. An opiate is an opioid, but not all opioids are opiates, and it is important to remember that both opioids and opiates can be harmful to your body.


Naloxone medication drugs are opioids or an opiate that binds to opioid receptors, however it acts in the opposite way of most opioids. Naloxone blocks other opioids from binding to receptors, and can reverse opioid overdoses within minutes. Naloxone is used as an opioid receptor to reverse the effects of opioids or opiates when addiction occurs.

Using Opioids and Your Health

Using opioids can negatively impact and affect your health including your heart, brain and body due to the effects and strain it causes on us. There are symptoms that occur when you use opioids that will indicate that it may be affecting your health. There are both short-term and long-term effects that can occur when taking opioids.

According to a report published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine by a National Institute of Health expert panel and by the American Academy of Neurology, the harms of opioids often outweigh the benefits for treating chronic non-cancer pain.

When you read the rules for long-term pain from cancer are often different. Carefully managed but increasing doses of opioids may be the best option for cancer patients.

Opioid Addiction

People who use a prescription opioid drug can begin to suffer from health consequences such as dependence and addiction to the drug. It is not unlikely for someone to begin to need the drug in order to function at a “normal” level after taking it for a long time. It starts to affect your health and your body will need it in order to function.

People may think that it is hard to read the signs of prescription drug abuse, but it is not. Drug abuse can cause many health defects such as heart problems, overdose, withdrawal, addiction and many more things that will not bode well for you.

Withdrawal and Detox

The first attempt at treatment with people for prescription opioids or opiates is often detox which leads to medical withdrawal. When you withdraw from an opioid it can cause you to feel uncomfortable health withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety, tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches, sweating, and extreme mental or physical discomfort.

Signs of Drug Addiction

There may be signs that indicate that you have a medical problem with alcohol, prescription opioids, opiates, naloxone, or other drugs and it means you need help from a medical, addiction specialist treatment center to help you with your substance abuse problem.

An opioid addiction can be difficult to deal with, but there is help available at AToN Center, to help ease the discomfort that is associated with addiction pain. Recovery and treatment is possible if you attend an addiction program at AToN Center, and our program consists of help with recovery and overdose as well.

Drug Addiction Treatment at AToN Center

If you are looking for an addiction treatment center for drugs or alcohol, AToN Center is a great choice, and located in the beautiful acres of San Diego, CA. Our drug addiction and substance abuse treatment program is top notch, and addresses every specific need of our clients.

Sometimes people may not understand the multitude of your addiction, and what it means, but if you are able to understand and go back to the way things were, you may be able to be the person you used to be.

Our drug and alcohol treatment program can help people overcome a drug problem. If you have used and are looking for more information from us on our addiction substance abuse treatment program, for a prescription drug or alcohol, please contact us at (888) 532-0519 for more information on our services and programs.

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