Narcotic addiction treatment
Narcotics, commonly referred to as opioids or prescription painkillers, are one of the most addictive substances worldwide. From illegal street drugs to legal prescription opioids, narcotics can be found everywhere. Although there is medical use for narcotics, they easily can become abused substances.
Narcotic overdose deaths have reached epidemic proportions in the United States, with over 47,000 reported in 2014 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Treatment, which can be found at a narcotics rehabilitation center, can help free individuals of their addiction to these substances.
What is a narcotic drug?
So what is a narcotic drug? A narcotic drug is an opioid.
Opioids can be categorized as naturally occurring, semi-synthetic and synthetic. Opium is extracted from the plant Papaver somniferum (the opium poppy), and morphine is the primary active component of opium.
Opioids bind to the mu-opioid receptors in the brain and produce analgesia and euphoria. The human body produces natural opioids that bind to these receptors to alleviate the body’s pain. The word endorphin is a combination of two words: endogenous morphine. Endorphins are natural opioids produced in the body.
Ingestion of exogenous opioids, those not produced in the body, results in addiction. These opioids bind to the same receptors as endogenous opioids. Specific opioids isolated from the plant are known as naturally occurring, whereas semi-synthetic opioids are initially derived from plants, and other synthetic chemicals are added. The Drug Enforcement Administration classifies opioids as Schedule I, Schedule II or Schedule III, depending on their medical benefit and addictive properties.