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The Definition of Opiates: A Medical Perspective

Dillon McClernon

Authored by Dillon McClernon

What to Know, from Our Opiate detox Centers

Substance abuse disorders often start innocently enough. Prescription opiates are on the rise in the US, but we are only now beginning to realize the that these drugs are actually more dependence inducing than once believed.
The truth is that opiate addiction is a serious global problem affecting the health and economic welfare of many countries and our opiate detox centers can help those with a problem. 

An estimated 26.4 million to 36 million people abuse opioids worldwide; 2.1 million people in the US suffer from substance abuse disorders associated with prescription drugs. What are opiates? The opiates definition (also known as opioids/narcotics) by which they are most widely known  is that these are a group of drugs used for treating pain. They are narcotic sedatives that depress activity of the nervous system, induce sleep, and reduce pain.

For reference, this is a list of types of opiates given by Addictions and Recovery, in ascending order by drug strength:


  • Codeine
  • Vicodin, Lortab, Lorcet(hydrocodone)
  • MS Contin Kadian (morphine)
  • Oxycontin, Percocet (oxycodone)
  • Dilaudid (hydromorphone)
  • Duragesic (fentanyl)

Development of dependence is gradual and not easily perceived. This makes it very important to keep tabs on how you’re feeling so that you can avoid larger problems in the future when it is time to go off the drug. A few markers that you are developing an opioids definition of medical dependency:


  • You note physical discomfort when you haven’t taken the drug
  • Mood swings and other withdrawal symptoms occur
  • You experience fear and anxiety when considering stopping your medication
  • Taking a higher dose than prescribed just so that you get the same effect
  • You feel preoccupied about taking the drug

All of these are probably to be expected when you are on opioids. Because your body naturally builds a tolerance to the drug, it may be difficult to tell whether you are taking it because you worry about the pain or because you need the drug itself. This means that it is important to have clinical support when you detox at our opiate detox centers. Especially if you have been taking high doses of the drug, you will need a special program for tapering off.

Recovery Centers of America offers opiate detox centers for people trying to get off opiates. We understand addiction. Ignorance and impersonal prescriptions often lead you or a family member to a place that previously you never would have imagined. Once addicted, the brain acts differently. It’s no longer a matter of willpower because drugs weaken the brain’s ability to exert one’s will in the same way as before.

Our opiates definition at RCA brings us an understanding of addiction that actually gets people to recovery. There’s no magic trick or one-size-fits-all for overcoming addiction. Bur we do bring the resources, professionals, and research needed for you or a family member to overcome addiction.  For more information about our opiate detox centers, please contact us today at 1-800-RECOVERY.

Authored by

Dillon McClernon

Dillon McClernon

Dillon currently serves as the Senior Director of Sales and Marketing at RCA. After his tenure as Chief Communications Officer and senior advisor to RCA, he opted for a full-time position at RCA where he could build a new team linking sales and marketing to directly impact RCA’s mission of saving 1 million lives.


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