Essay about Addiction of Opiates

Submitted By nikihou
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Addiction of Prescription Opiates Opioid abuse is a worldwide problem for both industrialized and developing countries (Jenkinson & Ravert, 2013). Opium has been used for an analgesic for at least 3500 years and is derived from the papaver somniferum plant, known as the poppy. By the eighteenth-century, opium was known to control pain by physicians with a limited anxiolytic and antipsychotic effect (Doweiko, 2012). By the time of the Civil War, morphine, which is a derivative of opium, was commonly used for medicinal purposes both on the battlefields and in the general society for a wide range of ailments. Since this time, large number of opiate-based analgesics have been introduced and can be classified into three groups. Natural opiates, are obtained directly from the poppy plant, like morphine. Semisynthetic opiates, which are chemically altered derivatives of natural opiates, an example would be heroin. Synthetic opioids, which are not derived from natural opiates, like methadone. Opioids are commonly used to treat pain. Opioid abuse would be defined when an opiate is used for a nonmedical use or used differently than is prescribed. In 2008, more than 33 million Americans used a pain reliever for a nonmedical purpose (Jenkinson & Ravert, 2013). After marijuana, prescription narcotics are the most commonly abused class of chemicals and is more common than heroin addiction (Doweiko, 2012). Reasons for opioid abuse can be at first to alleviate pain and can then develop in to an addiction when cravings of wanting to feel good arise, which is the release of dopamine in the reward system of the brain. These addictions can develop over a very short time and possibly after just a few days of continuous use. It is more likely for males to become addicted to opiates over females with a ratio of 3:1. There are several risk factors for an individual to become addicted to opioids, which include: personal history of addiction, family history of addiction, history of criminality, young age, high levels of pain sensitivity, comorbid depression and anxiety, high pain “catastrophizing”, history of childhood abuse, history of personality traits consistent with novelty seeking, impulsivity, and antisocial behavior, multiple psychosocial stressors (Patel, 2013). Currently in the twenty-first century, the United States is in the midst of a major public health problem when it comes to prescription