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According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, opioid abuse is driving the epidemic of drug overdoses in the United States. Furthermore, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a combination of ease of access and social acceptability has made opioid addiction a major problem in the US, and it is because of these characteristics of opioids that it is a top concern for the future. People seeking help for addiction often do so out of a want of knowledge, so we have written an informational guide to the different types of opioids so that you know the dangers you or your loved ones face. If you or a loved one are addicted to opioids or any substance, we urge you to contact us. We will get you the 100% confidential help you need.
Types of Opiates
Natural opioids are substances which occur in nature, coming from the poppy plant. Typically, they pose less of an immediate health risk than synthetic opioids, but there is still a significant risk of addiction and they must be taken seriously. They can not only lead to addiction, but that addiction and prolonged use can lead to respiratory depression, which can cause death. Natural opioids include:
- Morphine - Used by the medical community to treat severe pain. People can become addicted to morphine and use it as an injection, capsule, or suppository.
- Codeine - This schedule II, III, and IV drug is abused and overdosed on in cough syrup, and can lead to severe addiction.
- Opium - A schedule II drug that has a long, worldwide history of abuse. This painkiller has historically been easy to access and is typically smoked and used to lace marijuana and meth.
Synthetic and Semi-Synthetic Opiates
As opposed to natural opiates, synthetic opiates are entirely man-made. They are the result of chemical manipulation, and while their new chemical structures are often similar to their natural counterparts, they are typically far more powerful. As a result of their increased power and potency, their potential for addiction is also far greater. They are some of the most dangerous substances in the world, and can lead to overdose and death, so a healthy knowledge of them is key to avoiding their pitfalls.
- Heroin - The most infamous of opiates, heroin addiction is an epidemic in the United States and in many countries around the world. This is a schedule I drug, and as such there is no medical use for it. It is injected, so one of the many signs of use can be the "track marks" left by the needles.
- Oxycodone - A schedule II drug that can be taken orally, smoked, and injected. It is relatively easy to access, and so it has become a major concern in America's battle against addiction.
- Methadone - This schedule II opiate is one of the most infamous available, and has been a concern for Americans for decades. Paradoxically, it is still used, though with decreasing frequency, to treat addiction. Often, it becomes the substance people are addicted to.
If you believe you or a loved one are addicted to opiates or any other substance, we ask you to call our highly trained addiction counselors. We will set you up with highly customized addiction recovery services near you with a single call.