Despite their importance in the treatment of pain, the side effects of opioids can sometimes be dangerous. At their worst, they can cause respiratory failure and coma.
Opioids Side Effects
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There are numerous opioids available to people to help them deal with mild to severe pain. Although opioids can be prescribed legally many opioids are commonly abused and obtained illegally for people to use recreationally. Opioids side effects can create euphoric feelings in a person’s body which causes many people to enjoy the effects of the drug, but can be fatal and dangerous to people who abuse the drug and accidentally overdose on the drug.
According to www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Common side effects of opioid administration include sedation, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, physical dependence, tolerance, and respiratory depression. Physical dependence and addiction are clinical concerns that may prevent proper prescribing and in turn inadequate pain management. Less common side effects may include delayed gastric emptying, hyperalgesia, immunologic and hormonal dysfunction, muscle rigidity, and myoclonus. The most common side effects of opioid usage are constipation and nausea.
What are Opioids?
Opioids are both natural and synthetic opiates that come from the opium from the poppy plant. The term opiates specifically relates to the natural substances that come from the dried milk from the poppy plant, this would include morphine and codeine. The term opioids relates to both the natural substances and the synthetic laboratory made drugs that mimic the effects of opium such as oral pills like OxyContin and Percocet and opium made drugs such as heroin.
Opioids are pain killers and relaxants that will impact a person’s body in many ways causing them to feel pain free.
According to www.isate.memphis.edu, opioids attach to proteins that are called opioid receptors, which are found in the brain, spinal cord, and gastrointestinal tract. When the drugs attach to opioid receptors, they block the transmission of pain messages to the brain. Opioids induce euphoria by affecting the brain regions that mediate pleasure, which is why many people abuse the drug.
Opioids also alleviate stress because they create a relaxed sensation throughout a person’s body causing the person to feel a detachment from pain as well as a detachment from the world around them. Most people, when high on opioids, do not wish to do much of anything, they mostly just want to sit back and enjoy the euphoric feeling they are receiving from the drug.
Dangers of Opioids
Opioids are highly beneficial to medical patients who are dying form a disease or are in a significant amount of pain. When obtained and taken legally, opioids help people to live their life without dealing with the nuisance of pain, however when taken illegally most people form a strong addiction to the drug and have the potential to overdose on the drug which leads to numerous health concerns.
Opioid abuse can lead to fatalities and many hospitalizations due to the intense opioid side effects that occur. A person can stop breathing while taking opioids and can go into a coma like state if they overdoes on the drug. Most people who take opioids illegally take too much of the drug and this will cause both physical and mental health problems to occur in a person life.