Opiates are a type of drug usually prescribed for pain patients due to their strength and efficacy as painkillers. Improper dose management, however, can lead to tolerance to the drug, consequently requiring larger and more frequent dosages to get similar effects. Tolerance is almost always the road to addiction, and this is the main reason why opiates can only be obtained when prescribed by a physician. Unfortunately, most drug abusers are resourceful enough to find ways to get opiates and prescription painkillers through illicit means. The Internet has also contributed to the accessibility of different prescription drugs through several online pharmacies. These so-called online pharmacies are shady at best and lack the necessary resources for verifying their clientele – even teenagers and the elderly are able to avail of the cocktail of drugs in their catalog. Sadly, some pain patients also develop a dependence on opiates due to improper management of their regimen. Even if the opiates were obtained with a prescription, it can still lead to addiction, so it is vital that their use be monitored and regulated vigilantly.
The most common opiates are analgesics such as morphine, fentanyl, codeine, Vicodin, vicoprofin, hydrocodone, lortab, and oxycodone, or what is more commonly referred to as Roxy’s, Percocet, percodan, or Oxycontin. These opiates are often used when the effects of morphine become insufficient for the treatment of pain symptoms. Morphine has also faced abuse in the hands of recreational drug users, but the most abused, and, arguably, the most popular, opiate is heroin. Heroin is a narcotic derived from the equally famous morphine, and is highly addictive. Prolonged use can cause pulmonary complications, liver disease, collapsed veins, abscesses, and heart problems.
Like most other drugs, the potency of opiates also gives them a high tendency to be abused. Patients prescribed with opiates can also fall victim to addiction due to the mistaken notion that taking more of the drug will make its effects more powerful and immediate. As effective as they can be in the relief of pain, they can also have effects that can threaten an individual’s overall health and well being.