Opioid Dependence Several millennia ago, someone in the Middle Eastern country discovered that a plant called Papaver somniferum, produced a substance, which only lasted 7 to 10 days out of its yearly life, when was eaten , it eased pain and suffering ( Hart and Ksir 297). Opium was also used as a remedy for crying children dating back to 1500 BC. An Arabic physician composed a pharmacology book which described opium contained what is believed to be the first written description of opioid dependence (Hart and Ksir 298). According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, opioids are among the drugs commonly used recreationally. Opiates are opium extracts and they, along with opium derivatives and a number of synthetic opiate-like drugs are known collectively as opioids. Opium, heroin, morphine, methadone and codeine are prominent opioids and are also referred to as narcotics. The drugs are considered desirable by recreational users because they are analgesic (pain-relieving) and induce a state of euphoria (National Institute of Drug Abuse). Opioids are usually prescribed by a health care provider to relieve pain. Oxycontin, Vicodin and Percocet, are only a few of the many prescriptions opioids. While many people do take these prescription drugs responsibly and as directed, the recreational use and abuse has significantly increased over the last fifteen years in the United States. Illicit drug use seems to be a big problem in the United States, including prescription opioids and worse, heroin. Abuse of prescription analgesics has emerged as a major health in the United States. Our society is in the grip of an epidemic”, says Candy Finnigan, author of “When Enough Is Enough”, and a renowned addiction specialist on the hit A&E series Intervention.
. Physical dependence occurs because of normal adaptations to chronic exposure to a drug and is not the same as addiction.