Opiates have been used medicinally for years. Most often, they have been used to relieve pain. Historically, opiates have been prized for their ability to fight pain, but people need to use them carefully because of potential complications that include dependence and overdose.
Opiates have been used for many years to treat acute pain, including pain from surgery. These drugs have also been used to treat chronic and debilitating pain from conditions such as cancer and from degenerative, painful conditions including rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
Potential Drawbacks of Opiate Use
Opiates include codeine and morphine. Drugs derived from these naturally occurring opioid alkaloids include oxycodone and hydrocodone, which are semi-synthetic. In the last several years, prescriptions for drugs such as OxyContin have skyrocketed. In some cases, these powerful drugs are prescribed for uses for which they are not indicated. This has led to an increase in the number of cases of opiate abuse and addiction.
Opiate addiction is serious and most people need help to get off these drugs. This is because opiate withdrawal can be very painful and dangerous, especially if it's not managed safely and effectively. Professional opiate detox is recommended to ensure safety. Opiates are also indicated in the management of opiate dependence. Drugs such as Suboxone and methadone are opioids that are used to help wean patients from other opioids or opiates.
Opiates Are Also Used to Suppress Cough, Diarrhea
There are other potential uses for opiates. In addition to analgesia, they have anti-tussive properties. Codeine and other medications have proven useful in suppressing a cough.
Opiates have also been used in the management of diarrhea. This can include treatment for severe diseases that cause diarrhea, such as cholera, and for diarrhea associated with conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.
Opiates Should Only Be Used As Directed
Opiates unquestionably have their place in modern medicine, but there are some potential drawbacks so they should only be used as directed. Any deviation from the suggested use can lead to problems with dependence and addiction.