Opioids

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Opioids are defined as all drugs, both natural and synthetic, with morphine-like action. Opioid addiction is a serious problem worldwide, and the abuse of opioid pain medications has reached epidemic levels. Opioids have very powerful psychotropic effects. They relieve not only physical pain but also emotional pain, thus forming their main behavioral mechanism of action.

Much is known about the neurobiological substrates for the acute reinforcing effects of opioids. At the neurocircuitry level, neural elements in the region of the ventral tegmental area and nucleus accumbens are important. At the cellular level, evidence exists for a disinhibitory effect of opioids via glutamatergic or GABAergic interneurons. At the molecular level, the μ opioid receptor is the subtype most critical for the acute reinforcing effects of opioids. During the development of dependence on opioids, major between-system changes occur. All of these changes may contribute to the decreased reward system activity and increased stress system activity associated with opioid dependence and the allostatic molecular changes that drive craving during protracted abstinence.


If you NEED HELP WITH YOUR OR A LOVED ONE's ADDICTION, please CALL toll-free (872) 666-9868 - compassionate and caring people are waiting for your call right now!

Keywords

opioid; analgesic; morphine; neuropeptide; endorphin; intoxication; codeine; heroin; pain relief; pharmacokinetics

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