ALSO KNOWN AS: Opium, Hydromorphone, Oxymorphone, Heroin, Morphine, Oxycodone, Talwin, Codeine, Harry, Doogie, Crown Crap, Chiva, China White, Joy Powder, Big H, White Lady, Methadone, Meperdine, Hydrocodone, Vicodin, Tecata, Smeck

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SIGNS/EFFECTS OF USE: Most opioids are derived from the sap of the opium poppy. Opiates function as central nervous system depressants, which slow down the responses of the central nervous system – including the brain – to external stimuli. Users report intense feelings of euphoria and/or relaxation. For this reason, opiates are often used to escape from difficult emotional or physical pain. The methods of administration include swallowing, chewing, snorting, and intravenous (IV) injection. Depending on which opiate has been consumed, the user may feel sedated, speak strangely, exhibit decreased ability to reason, slowed breathing, and impaired reflexes. Some opiates – like Vicodin and Oxycontin – are prescribed by physicians for the treatment of legitimate pain associated with such chronic conditions as cancer. Other opiates – like heroin – are illegal substances. But even prescription opiates can be abused if the user does not take them exactly as prescribed. As tolerance develops, opiate users must take greater doses more often to recreate the same high that they experienced during their first usage.

WITHDRAWAL: Withdrawal symptoms can begin as soon as a few hours after the most recent use. Withdrawal can be unpleasant and potentially dangerous, so in most cases it is recommend that the detoxification process be monitored by medical professionals. In some cases, the physician may decided to treat the withdrawal symptoms pharmacologically with such drugs as Suboxone. Among potential symptoms are cold sweats, bone pain, anxiety, vomiting, depression, and diarrhea. If the user has experimented with IV injection, these symptoms may be complicated by any of the potential medical effects of IV drug use including endocarditis (heart inflammation), HIV, skin abscesses, and Hepatitis.