Narcotics (Opiates/Opioids) –
Opiates are extracted from a type of flower called a poppy, specifically the species papaver somniferum. This poppy is the source for all naturally occurring opiates such as morphine and codeine. The term opiates encompasses opium, opium derivatives, and their semi-synthetic substitutes. Synthetic opiates are man-made in a laboratory and include medication like meperidine, fentanyl and methadone. Semi-synthetic opiates are synthesized from naturally occurring opium products and include heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone and hydromorphone. Opiate medications require a prescription from a doctor and are usually prescribed as pain relievers, cough suppressants, and sleep aids.
Opiates come in a variety of forms including tablets, capsules, transdermal patches, powder, liquids, syrups, uppositories and lollipops. These different forms also come in a variety of different colors. In addition to their medical use, opiates produce a general sense of well-being and euphoria, which helps to reduce tension, anxiety and aggression. All of these effects are very helpful in a therapeutic setting but can also appeal to individuals who abuse opiates. Abusers tend to use opiates in one of the following ways; ingestion, smoking, sniffing or injection. Individuals usually obtain opiates from friends/family, street dealers, or resort to stealing. Opiates are highly addictive and create both a physical and psychological dependence.
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