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Opiates and opioids

Opiates and opioids

Opiates are substances extracted from the poppy plant (Latin: papaver somniferum). By carving the unripe pod and drying the milk which comes out, raw opium is obtained. Morphine is derived from this raw opium, and heroine is made by chemically processing morphine.

Opium is the collective name for a variety of opiates including morphine, codeine, thebaine, papaverine and noscapine.

  • Addictive? Generally occurs quite quickly and is then large, both physically and psychologically.
  • Increasingly more needed for the same effect? Yes.
  • Short-term effects: Reduction of pain and feelings of anxiety, brief euphoria, dulled emotions, constipation. Duration of effect differs per type of opiate.
  • Long-term effects: Indifference towards her/himself and the environment.
  • Important: Risk of malnutrition and self-neglect with increased chances of infection as a result. When injected, extra risk of overdose and/or infection (HIV, aids, hepatitis)