What are opiates? Opiates are drugs derived from the opium poppy plant that stimulate the opiate neurotransmitter system within the brain. Opiate drugs are also called narcotics and are used to control pain. Opiates can be very dangerous due to their highly addictive nature.
Street drugs like heroin, as well as many prescribed medications consist of what are opiates. The effects of opiates, whether medication or street drug, are very powerful. When opiate neurotransmitters in the brain are released in large quantities, it creates a euphoric sense of well being that is highly addictive. Thus many people become addicted to prescription medications such as: Morphine, Vicodin, OxyContin, Dilaudid, Demerol, Codeine, and more.
After taking what are opiates for long enough, the body’s natural opiate system becomes down-regulated (meaning the natural pain controlling mechanism shuts down), leaving an individual with severe painful withdrawal if they try to stop taking the opiate medications. Additionally, after taking these opiate medications over a long period of time, a paradoxical effect can occur, where the opiate medications actually begin to cause pain instead of relieving the discomfort.
Helping patients off of opiates can be a very complex procedure, but with the right techniques it can be successfully accomplished. Learn about the safest and most advanced techniques in Dr. Von Stieff’s book: Brain In Balance.