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Home Health Uses of Opioid and Its Effects

Uses of Opioid and Its Effects

The poppy papaver somniferum  is the natural sources of all Opioids.  it was traditionally cultivated in the Mediterranean and Asia. Opium Poppy is one of the oldest plants in recorded history, with information dating back to 5,000 BCE .It  is also called narcotics which means dull the senses and relived pain. They work by attaching protein which is called opioids receptors present on nerve cells in the brain, spinal cord. When they are attached the block the pain messages which spinal cord are sending to the brain. In this process the brain blocked the pain, therefore there are highly significant in relieving pain and so called addictive.

Various Types of Opioids:

Opioids have various types such as illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, and many others.

Medical Usage of Opioids:

Opioids are usually prescribed by health professional. These are used for different kinds of pain in both acute and chronic pain. In chronic pain especially for severe headache and back pain. Opioid is also use for the patients recovering from surgeries and patients experiencing cancer pain. (Huxtable 2013). They can be taken orally, injected or given through IV.

Over Use of Opioids and its Effects:

The over use of opioids have negative effects on health. The risk has been significantly high in those patients who using opioids for chronic pain for long time. The alkaloids present in opium are well known to cause respiratory and cardiac suppression. Ingestion at high levels has been reported to cause severe suppression of heart function, coma and death.

The long time use of opioid have addictive effects which damage the body sometimes the effects are life threatening. The primary  side effects of opioids include sleepiness, constipation and nausea while secondary side effects and overdose of opioids include shallow breathing. Slowing of heart rate,seizure, dizziness, weakness, and loss of consciousness. The regular use of opioid have long term negative effects on health. It can damage organs especially heart, lungs, liver and brain. The addictiveness of opioid  may affect the financial, work or social problems.

The major cause of morbidly and mortality associated with opioid is overdose on prescription medicines. The morbidly and mortality is often associated with non-medical use of opioid which are categorized as for relieve of stress and other from relieve of  long term chronic pain. Opioids overdose has been reached to epidemic level. It has been estimated that from 2004 to 2011 the prescription has been double for opioid. The number of death has been triple reached to 16,235.Nelsonet (al 2015).

Second Largest Drug Used worldwide after Alcohol:

After alcohol consumption the use of opioid is second epidemic worldwide opioid is commonly misuse by the patient having severe pain (Nelson et al 2015). According to National institute on Drug Abuse, about 2 million Americans misuse opioids. In last 20 years the opioid use for abuse, as a therapeutic use and mis-use of opioids has been increasing. Opioids especially became the most prescribed medications in the US. it was estimated that more than 90 American die due to overdose of opioid. Opioids are easily available to teens and adults alike from friends, family members, pharmacies, hospitals and internet (Singh et al 2019).


WHO Report Regarding the Adddictiveness of Opioids:

According to World health organization report it has been estimated that almost 275 million people around the global were affected. The population aged between 15-64 years used opioid once during 2016. About 34 million people who used opioids and about 19 million who used opiates.

Worldwide the use of opioids has increased dramatically in the 21st century. In South Asia especially Afghanistan which is total  8% of the population, the main source of the world’s opium, is addicted to drugs, mainly opium or heroin (Knoppert, D. 2011). According to National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) 2010, it has been estimated that 23 million American age ≥12 years were using opioid illegally. The number of people using non-medical opioid was 7 million while 5.1 million people used it for therapeutic was found that opioid analgesics is associated with number of death both suicide and motor vehicle crashes, or deaths from cocaine and heroin. There is strong association between the selling of opioid for chronic pain treatments and increasing the number of deaths. The greater number (60%) of death was noted in those patients with dose while less (40%) death were associated with low dose. (Manchikanti, et al 2012)

Review of Literature Regarding Opioids:

Vowles et al 2015 studied the systematic review on use of opioid. The  use of opioid in both chronic and acute pain treatment is a bigger issue, this use of opioid can be beneficial for the patient and also can harm the patient. The increasing use of opioid can be identify by number of prescription which are result of both morbidity and mortality. A study was conducted in which 38 studies were included. It was found that opioid has been used for chronic pain, but problem was found when the excess use causing misuse and addiction od opioid. In a recent study it was found that misuse of opioid for different reasons were higher ranging from <1% to 81% across studies. It was found that opioid misuse were about 21% and 29% (range, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 13%-38%). It was concluded that the rate of abuse and addictions  were found little as compared to misuse of opioids.

Minozzi et al 2013 studied the prevalence of opioid use in treatment of  acute and chronic pain. They carried out eight cross sectional studies and four uncontrolled studies. The collected data from 17 studies. The total subjects 88,235 subjects were included. They cover patient having non‐malignant pain,  one with cancer pain and one person having previous history of opioid dependence. The rate of prevalence range from 0 to 24% (median 0.5%) and prevalence 0 to 31% (median 4.5%). it was concluded that opioid  use as pain killer is not associated with any dependence.

Huxtable et al carried out study in Australia and New Zealand. They found that opioid use is increasing from last decades on a long term in patients who have prescribed  opioids. They found that use of opioid is increasing in both cancer and non-cancer indications. The illegal use of opioid has been still stable but the abuse of opioid has been increased. They found that the use of opioid in acute pain has been increased. The use of opioids in acute pain and prevention of drug is greatly effective. The pharmacological approaches integrated the use of opioid use in all aspects. Therefore it was suggested that the prescription of opioid to the patients should be limited.

Singh (et al 2019) conducted a study the increased use of opioids in the United States (US). They used US National Vital Statistics System mortality data from 1999-2017 to found the opioid use by race, age and geographical area. They found that mortality rate was increased by over use of opioid which was regardless of age, race and geographical area. It was concluded that opioids overdose is associated with death. The overdose of opioids for pain management is life threatening.


Vowles, K. E., McEntee, M. L., Julnes, P. S., Frohe, T., Ney, J. P., & van der Goes, D. N. (2015). Rates of opioid misuse, abuse, and addiction in chronic pain: a systematic review and data synthesis. Pain156(4), 569-576.

Minozzi, S., Amato, L., & Davoli, M. (2013). Development of dependence following treatment with opioid analgesics for pain relief: a systematic review. Addiction108(4), 688-698.

Huxtable, C. A., Roberts, L. J., Somogyi, A. A., & MacIntyre, P. E. (2011). Acute pain management in opioid-tolerant patients: a growing challenge. Anaesthesia and intensive care39(5), 804-823.

Nelson, L. S., Juurlink, D. N., & Perrone, J. (2015). Addressing the opioid epidemic. Jama314(14), 1453-1454.

Singh, G. K., Kim, I. E., Girmay, M., Perry, C., Daus, G. P., Vedamuthu, I. P., … & Allender, M. (2019). Opioid epidemic in the United States: empirical trends, and a literature review of social determinants and epidemiological, pain management, and treatment patterns. International Journal of Maternal and Child Health and AIDS8(2), 89.

Nelson, L. S., Juurlink, D. N., & Perrone, J. (2015). Addressing the opioid epidemic. Jama314(14), 1453-1454.

Manchikanti, L., Fellows, B., Janata, J. W., Pampati, V., Grider, J. S., & Boswell, M. V. (2012). Opioid epidemic in the United States. Pain physician15(3 Suppl), ES9-38.

Knoppert, D. (2011). The Worldwide Opioid Epidemic. The Worldwide Opioid Epidemic.


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