Over the years, the opioid epidemic has hit an all-time high. About 20,000 people die from opioid overdose every year. Let’s take a look at what opioids are and why misusing them can be dangerous from your Palm Beach treatment center.
What Is an Opioid?
An opioid is a synthetic form of an opiate. Common types of prescription opioids include OxyContin, hydrocodone, Vicodin, codeine, and morphine. The most common “street drug” opioid is heroin.
Opioid drugs bind to opioid receptors on cells in the brain and throughout the body. Some of those cells control a person’s digestion, pain, and other functions. Opioids dull a person’s perception of pain, which is why they are frequently prescribed to people recovering from serious injury or surgery. The feeling that it produces can make it addicting, even after the pain has stopped. Opioids also affect the brain’s pleasure system, which can lead to a euphoric or high feeling.
Difference Between Heroin and Prescription Opioids
While many prescription opioids are designed to affect you more gradually, heroin creates an instant extreme high that lasts for a short period of time. That’s because it is taken either by snorting or injection, allowing it to enter the body and brain at the same time. People that find themselves getting addicted to their prescription opioids tend to gravitate to heroin over time because it is cheaper is easier to get since a prescription isn’t needed.
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