Are Opiates NSAIDS?

The concept of opiates is one that’s gaining so much attention right now, because there is an epidemic of opiate abuse and addiction that’s sweeping the nation. There’s really no demographic or area that’s safe from the opioid epidemic, as it effects everyone whether they’re in a big city or a rural area. So what’s with the rising use of opiates?

It’s largely because of the fact that doctors prescribe millions and millions of opioid painkillers each year. The prescription version of opioids are not only easy to get because of the sheer number of prescriptions that are written, but they are also often a gateway to illegal drugs including heroin, which is also an opioid.

Because of the amount of attention opiate use gets in the U.S., there are many questions and misconceptions about these drugs. One such question that’s frequently asked is “are opiates NSAIDs?”

The following is some information to help you understand the differences between opiates and NSAIDs.

Are Opiates NSAIDS?
To provide a short answer to are opiates NSAIDs, it’s no. Opiates are not NSAIDs. NSAIDs stands for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These are very commonly prescribed to help in the treatment of conditions like arthritis, and they’re also available as over-the-counter versions such as aspirin.

NSAIDs go beyond only being pain relievers. They can actually work to reduce inflammation and reduce fevers, and they can also prevent blood from clotting. There is some belief that NSAIDs can help protect against health issues like heart disease, but they may have potential adverse side effects as well. For example, NSAIDs may potentially create problems with kindey function.

NSAIDs work through a process that prevents a certain enzyme called COX from doing its job. NSAIDs block the action of the enzyme, which actually has two forms, and that’s what alleviates inflammation and pain. There are varying formulations of NSAIDs that may also vary in strength.

NSAIDs have been shown to help relieve both acute and chronic pain but there is the possibility of toxicity in the gastrointestinal tract and they’re not necessarily the best option for long-term therapy.

NSAIDs are a non-narcotic analgesic and they essentially work by decreasing how pain is formed in the peripheral nervous system.

So no, opioids are not NSAIDs and these two types of pain relievers actually perform very differently from one another. First, opioids act to relieve pain by filling the brain and central nervous system opioid receptors. The brain naturally produces a minimal level of opioids, but what someone gets when they take an opioid drug is hundreds of times more potent. That’s what leads people to feel a rush or high when they take opioids.

Rather than blocking the action of enzymes, opioids instead trigger a flood of dopamine and feel-good chemicals into the body and that’s what relieves pain. Opioid analgesics perform directly on the central nervous system, and they block out pain stimuli that would be sent to the brain.

Opioids, unlike NSAIDs, have a high potential for abuse. This is because since they play such a role in the rain and central nervous system opioid receptors, and specifically the brain’s reward and pleasure centers, the brain starts to learn that it wants to take actions that will allow it to get more of the drug.

Opioids tend to be effective for longer than NSAIDs when it comes to pain relief, and while the risks aren’t the same with the two drugs, along with addiction potential there are many downsides to use of opioids, particularly in thee long-term. For example, some of the problems that can result from long-term opioid abuse include hormonal issues, insomnia, depression and difficulty having natural feelings of pleasure without drugs.

Something else to note about the differences between opiates and NSAIDs is the fact that NSAIDs aren’t classified under the Controlled Substances Act.

Overall, no, opiates are not NSAIDs. Opiates are much stronger and are usually relied on when the pain is so severe that non-narcotic analgestics wouldn’t effective. The biggest differences between these two classes of drugs is in how they produce analgesic effects. Opioids work on nervous system pain receptors in the brain and spinal cord. Non-opioid NSAIDs work directly on the areas of inflammation and injury found in the body’s tissues.

Also, opioids significantly impact the brain by reducing its ability to sense pain, while non-opioids tend to play a role in addressing chemical reactions at the site of tissue injury.

Are Opiates NSAIDS?
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