Poppy Seeds and Opiates
What Are Opiates?
Opiates are a class of drugs derived from the poppy plant. Opiates in the strictest terms are all-natural, but the term is used interchangeably with opioid. Opioids are synthetic or semisynthetic drugs that have been manmade to replicate the structure of opiates. Opiates and opioids act on the brain in similar ways. Both opiates and opioids bind to specific receptors, which changes how the person actively using the substance perceives pain. These drugs also affect areas of the brain responsible for controlling emotion. In this way, they create a euphoric high. That high can trigger the brain’s reward system, which is what leads to the psychological disease of addiction.
Opioids, while they are synthetic, are structurally related to the alkaloids found in opium. Opium comes from the resin of the opium poppy plant. The natural opiate alkaloids used as pain relievers include codeine and morphine. Synthetic opioid derivatives include heroin, fentanyl, methadone, and hydromorphone. Regardless of whether someone is actively using natural opiates or synthetic opioids, the risks are similar. Negative effects of administering these substances include psychological addiction, physical dependence, and fatal respiratory depression.
Opiates and opioids can also show up on substance tests for employment and other scenarios. With all that in mind, people frequently wonder about the relationship between poppy seeds and opiates. Are poppy seeds opiates? Could eating poppy seeds show up on a drug test since they come from the same plant as this class of drugs?
Have more questions about Opiate abuse?Read the most frequently asked questions
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