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Opiate Derivatives:From Medical Treatment to Drug Abuse

Opiates have been around for years as our ancestors discovered their powers centuries ago. The problem with addiction, however, emerged in North America. It seems our love for drugs in the states has deep roots and the many different forms of opioids today – known as Opiate Derivatives – are easily accessible and highly affective in delivering the desired high when abused.

Opiate derivatives are truly narcotics. While the term narcotics is used to define any undesirable drug, it truly refers to opium and any opium derivative. Let’s take a look at a few of these derivatives and how they are found on the streets of the United States or in the homes of those who don’t seem the type.

Heroin is a popular opiate derivative. Heroin was widely used in the medical community until its potential for addition was discovered. A powder substance, heroin often varies in color. If the heroin appears brown, it has been cut with cocoa powder, brown sugar or face makeup. White heroin may be cut with milk powder or procaine to dilute the drug and ease its impact on the body.

Morphine is another opiate derivative and is most often abused in a medical or clinical setting as it is more difficult to obtain on the street. It comes in two forms: liquid form that is packaged in a vial or prepared for hypodermic needs; and in tablet form that is illegally sold on the street for as much as $20 a pill.

Hydromorphone or Dilaudid is another opiate derivative that is one of the most powerful narcotics available. This pharmaceutical drug is very similar to heroin in the way that it affects the body. In many cases, Diluadid is preferred over heroin as it has no unknown or harmful cutting agents. At the same time, those taking Diluadid know the exact amount they are taking. Diluadid is often obtained illegally as it is a highly controlled substance.

Codeine is an opiate derivative that has been around for generations. It is used to relive moderate pain or as a cough suppressant. While it is a true narcotic, codeine is considerably weak in comparison with other opiate derivatives. At the same time, given its relative weakness, codeine is also easier to obtain on the street, especially since most codeine-laced cough syrups do not require a prescription.

Methadone is an opiate derivative that is used in the treatment of a heroin addiction. It does not produce the euphoric high of heroin, but instead eases the process and withdrawal of heroin from the body. As it is still a narcotic, the use of methadone as a treatment is extremely controversial.

Opiate derivatives – when taken according to their intended purpose – can be very effective for treating pain and other medical conditions. As they continue to be a target for abuse, however, the medical industry is being forced to re-examine their approach to treating pain.


Posted on May 24, 2010


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