Week 12 Chapter 10 Substance Use Disorders Opiates (Caff) Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Week 12 Chapter 10 Substance Use Disorders Opiates (Caff) Deck (10)

What are Opiates?

*Opiates are considered sedatives
*Opiates are a group of addictive drugs that in moderate doses relieve pain and induce sleep
*The Opiates include opium, & it's derivatives: Morphine, heroin, codeine


Tell me about Opium

Opium has been used since 7000BC and comes from the opium poppy and was the principle drug of international traffic


Tell me about Morphine

In 1806 the alkaloid Morphine (named after Morpheus, the Greek god of Dreams) was separated from raw opium.
*This bitter tasting powder is a powerful sedative & pain reliever. Since middle of 19th century it has been commonly injected into the veins for pain relief
*It is highly addicitive


Tell me about Heroin

In 1874 Morphine was converted into Heroin, another powerful pain reliever.
Heroin was initially used to cure morphine addiction & was so widely used in so many drugs it was known as 'God's own medicine' prior to it being found to be more addictive than Morphine
*Heroin is mostly injected, though sometimes chased, smoked, snorted, or swallowed


What is the problem with legally prescribed opiate based medications?

Hydrocodone and Oxycodone are legally prescribed opiate based medications that have become drugs of abuse
*Hydrocodone is often combined with acetaminophen (the active agent of Tylenol) to create Vicodin, Zydone & Lortab
*Oxycodone.is found in Percodan, Tylox, & OxyCoontin


What is the prevalence of Opiate Abuse and Dependence?

More than 1 million people are thought to be addicted to heroin in the USA
*Heroin used to be a drug for low SES, however, in 1990's it became popular with middle & upper-middle class students & professionals
*In 2009 over 5 million people in the USA used pain medications for nonmedicinal uses.
*The no. of people seeking treatment for dependence on pain medications increased 400% in just 10 years
*Because heroin is cheaper than OxyContin and has similar effects, health professionals are concerned people will turn to heroin instead


What is the Psychological & Physical effects of Opiate Abuse and Dependence?

Opiates produce euphoria, drowsiness and sometimes a lack of coordination.
*Heroin & OxyContin produce a 'rush' a feeling of warm, suffusing ecstasy immediately after an intravenous injection
*The user has great self confidence, & sheds worries & fears for up to 4-6 hours.
*However, the user feels a severe comedown, bordering on stupor


How do Opiates produce their effect?

Opiates produce their effect by stimulating neural receptors of the body's own opioid system (endorphins & enkephalins)
*Heroin is converted into morphine in the brain & binds to the opioid receptors located throughout the brain.
*The pleasurable effects may come from a link between these receptors & the dopamine system or via the opioids action in the nucleus accumbens


Opiates are clearly addictive. How quickly do users gain tolerances & show withdrawals?

*Withdrawal from heroin may begin up to 8 hours of the last injection once a high tolerance has built up.
During the next few hours after withdrawal begins the person experiences muscle pain, sneezing, & sweating; becomes tearful, & yawns a great deal. (a lot like flu). Within 36 hours symptoms are more severe: uncontrollable chills, muscle cramps, flushing, sweating, a rise in heart rate & blood pressure. inability to sleep, vomiting & diarrhea follow. Symptoms typically persist for about 72 hours & gradually diminish over 5-10 days


What are the serious possible problems facing people who abuse opiates?

In a 29 year follow up study of 500 people addicted to heroin:
28% were dead by age 40 - half by homicide, suicide, accident; one third by overdose

*Needle sharing leads to spread of infectious diseases

Social consequences:
Obtaining & using becomes the centre of the person's life, governing all activities & social relationships. Users often resort to illegal activities to obtain sufficient money for their drug

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