Which Opiates Are Most Addictive?

The United States is undoubtedly facing a serious and very deadly epidemic in the form of opioid addictions. Opioids, also commonly referred to as opiates, are a type of drugs that can be prescription or illicit.

Opiates include heroin as well as prescription narcotic painkillers like morphine. These drugs work by impacting the reward center of the brain, which is how your body naturally controls pleasure and associated feelings. When you take opiates, the result is that it replicates your body’s natural feel-good mechanisms, but amplifies them. In very high doses opioids tend to slow some of the central functions of the body, including slowing down the respiratory system.

This is what happens when someone overdoses on opiates—their brain starts to shut off the necessary functions of the body, and in severe cases, the person goes into a coma and in unfortunately too many cases, dies.

Which Opiates Are Most Addictive?
When prescribed by a physician opiates are designed to help provide relief from acute pain. They’re often given following a serious injury or surgery, or sometimes in the event of chronic pain or illnesses like cancer.

There’s the misconception among many people that because prescription painkillers are given to them by their doctor, they can’t be dangerous or that it’s okay to take them. That’s likely one of the biggest factors that’s contributed to the rise in the use of these drugs, but they continue to be prescribed in large numbers.

Opiates are the leading cause of deaths attributed to drug overdoses in the U.S., and there were more than 20,000 deaths in 2015 believed to be related to the use of prescription painkillers, and almost 13,000 more because of heroin.

Opiate addiction impacts people of all genders, from all backgrounds and in all locations. What’s been surprising for many people to see is what an impact opiates have had on suburban areas that normally aren’t considered central areas of drug activity.

A big part of preventing deaths related to opiates is educating people on their risks and dangers and helping people understand how addictive they are, and which opiates are most addictive.

Understanding why they’re so addictive and which opiates are most addictive is about understanding how the brain works naturally, and how opiates impact its natural functioning.

When a person takes opiates, it triggers the same responses that happen when you do something your body and brain find pleasurable, such as eating, but in a much more pronounced way. Opiates also cause your brain to create a flood of dopamine, and those responses are what contribute to the desire to continue using drugs.

If you are a repeated user of opiates, then your brain starts to rewire itself in a way that allows it feel normal only when on drugs, and abnormal when they’re not present. For example, a person who has been using opiates for a period of time will often feel very anxious or irritated when they’re not on them.

Opiates play such a significant role in the brain that they can also impact your self-control, so well beyond the time the drugs can give you the intense euphoric rush, you can still feel the desire to take them.

The answer to which opiates are most addictive is really all of them because they have similar effects on the brain, but some may be slightly more addictive than others.

When we think about which opiates are most addictive, heroin often comes to mind first, and it’s true. People who begin using heroin become addicted almost immediately, and it’s an incredibly difficult drug to stop using.

With that being said, what a lot of people don’t realize is that an addiction to heroin often begins with prescription drugs. Often people will get a prescription for an opiate-based drug for a legitimate reason, such as following an injury. They will become addicted to that drug, and then eventually turn to heroin because it tends to be cheaper and easier to get in many cases.

Codeine is also a highly addictive opiate. It’s a prescription medicine that’s used to help treat pain and also cough, but it tends to go under-the-radar as compared to a lot of other opiates.

Hydrocodone is a drug that comes in the brand name of Vicodin. Vicodin is hands-down one of the most widely abused drugs in the U.S., and it’s a combination of not only opiates but acetaminophen. Other similar combinations that are also incredibly addictive include Lorcet, Lortab and Norco, among others.

Also on the list of the opiates that are most addictive is oxycodone. Some of the brand names of this drug include Percocet and Percodan, as well as OxyContin.

While these are some of the most addictive opiates that are most frequently abused, it’s important to realize that all opiates are addictive, and all of them carry a very high risk of abuse and dependence.

Which Opiates Are Most Addictive?
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