People in AA will often say that it isn't the alcohol that is the problem; it is the 'ism' that causes the damage. Such is the case with opiates as well—the opiate is not the issue, but rather it is the obsession with opiates that causes the misery and despair. For example, ibuprofen and acetaminophen (found in vicodin and vicoprofen) can cause liver damage and even failure if high enough doses are consumed. In their purest form and in no combination with other drugs, the majority of opioids are actually benign in the body, the only risk associated w/ their use is dependency and withdrawal. But some opiods, including heroin, morphine, and opium are far from safe and can cause full blown addiction. Prolonged usage can cause physical damage to the body, although not necessarily from the drug itself. Repeated injections with dirty needles can result in diseases such as Hepatitis, AIDS and Tetanus, especially when sharing needles.
Due to their pain relieving properties, opioids are the most often prescribed type of prescription drugs. Some of the medications that are opiates include drugs like morphine and codeine. There are close to a million chronic opioid addicts in the United States and less than 25 percent of them seek treatment. Those who do seek care have relatively poor outcomes in traditional abstinence-based treatment programs . In the brain, heroin is converted to morphine and binds rapidly to opioid receptors. Abusers typically report feeling a surge of pleasurable sensation, a "rush." The intensity of the rush is a function of how much drug is taken and how rapidly the drug enters the brain and binds to the natural opioid receptors.
Two of the most commonly known opioid analogs are fentanyl and meperidine (marketed under the brand name Demerol). In addition to relieving pain, opioid drugs can affect regions of the brain that mediate what we perceive as pleasure, resulting in the initial euphoria that many opioids produce. They can also produce drowsiness, cause constipation, and, depending upon the amount of drug taken, depress breathing.
Not long ago, opiate dependency was viewed as a condition with no solution . Patients with opiate physical dependency were considered to have inherited an addictive personality or psychological disorder or to have suffered with a dysfunctional family life. Opiate addiction is a serious condition, but it is one that can be treated. Like all drug addictions, opiate is a medical condition attacking the nervous system in the brain and spinal cord. One possible reason for how the addiction starts is the inaccessibility of this drug in its cheaper, generic form in anything smaller than 80 milligrams.