What Are Opiate Potentiators and What Dangers Are Associated With Them?
When people abuse substances, they often do so because they enjoy the feelings that are caused by their drug of choice. Many drugs cause feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and pleasure. These feelings keep drug abusers coming back for more. However, these feelings are usually short-lived.
For different reasons, people may seek ways to create stronger or more intense effects. In some cases, tolerance prevents people from feeling the same effects they once did. In other cases, people want to feel these effects more strongly than ever before.
In either case, people who abuse opiates, in particular, may turn to opiate potentiators. These are substances that can intensify the effects of opiates. If you are considering using an opiate potentiator, it is important to be aware of the dangers associated with them.
What Are Opiates?
First, it is important to understand what opiates are. Opiates are drugs that are derived from the poppy plant. They are natural painkillers and can be very addictive. Opiates include drugs like heroin, morphine, and codeine.
Opiates are a type of drug that includes heroin and prescription painkillers like OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin. Opiates work by binding to receptors in the brain and spinal cord, which results in pain relief. However, opiates can also cause drowsiness, slowed breathing, and constipation.
You may also be familiar with the drug class, opioids. Opioids are a type of drug that includes both prescription and illegal drugs. Opiates are simply the non-synthetic version of opioids. While there is some distinction, both of these substances cause similar effects.
What is Opiate Potentiators?
Opiate potentiators are substances that increase the effects of opiates. Unfortunately, this practice exacerbates the issue of opiate abuse that has reached epidemic levels in the United States. While there is a lot of discourse about opiate and opioid abuse in recent years, this practice is not new. Since the 1600s, there are reports of people using potentiators such as alcohol to increase the effects of drugs like morphine.
When it comes to the substances that are used as opiate potentiators, there are many different kinds. These potentiators range from other drugs and even to certain types of fruit juice. Some of the most common opiate potentiators include:
- Orphenadrine citrate
- Chlorpheniramine and codeine
One potentiator that many people may consume unintentionally is grapefruit juice and even juice from certain oranges. Grapefruit juice, in particular, creates a biochemical process with oral oxycodone by which the concentration of oxycodone in the body is increased. This amplifies the effect of the drug as more of it is passed from the digestive system to the bloodstream.
Opiates and Alcohol
Many opiate potentiators are drugs that people commonly abuse alongside opiates. One example is alcohol, which is easily procured and ingested. Concerningly, alcohol is one of the most dangerous potentiators because it depresses the central nervous system. When used with opiates, it can intensify the effects of both drugs, leading to breathing problems and a higher risk of overdose.
How Opiates are Combined with PotentiatorsMany alternative methods of taking opiates also enhance the effects of the drug. One such practice is taking the drugs codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, or dihydrocodeine as a suppository. This increases the effects of the drug by around 10%.
Some people who abuse opiates also heat hydrocodone or codeine cough syrup to decompose the drug and boil off the alcohol in it. This then allows them to extract opiate elements
The Dangers of Using Opiate PotentiatorsWhen opiates are combined with potentiators, the effects of the opiates are increased. This can be dangerous because it can lead to overdose and death. Over the last 15 years, the CDC has reported an increase in opioid-related deaths. Other consequences include the following:
Opiate DependenceChronic drug exposure leads to physical dependence. When someone is dependent on a drug, they feel withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop taking the drug or reduce their dosage. This then causes the individual to continue taking the drug to feel relief.
Tolerance ChangesTolerance to opiates develops with chronic use. This means that higher doses are required to achieve the same effects. Tolerance can lead to overdose and death as the individual uses more of the drug.
Opiate AddictionPeople who use opiates can develop an addiction. Addiction is a chronic and relapsing condition characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite negative consequences.
Cognitive ImpairmentChronic opiate use can lead to cognitive impairment, which means that a person has difficulty thinking clearly and making decisions. This can affect a person’s ability to work, go to school, and take care of their responsibilities. Over time, cognitive impairment can even lead to permanent damage.
Emotional EffectsOpiates can have a profound effect on a person’s emotions. They can make a person feel happy, relaxed, and euphoric. However, they can also cause negative emotions such as anxiety, paranoia, and depression. Opiate use can also intensify existing mental health conditions.
Damage to Physical HealthOpiates can cause a wide range of physical health problems. These include liver damage, kidney damage, and respiratory problems. The longer opiates are abused, the more expensive the damage becomes. Opiate use can also lead to an increased risk of accidents and injuries.
Recovering from Opiate Abuse with Sana Lake BWCIf you are using opiate potentiators, you may be struggling with opiate abuse. Opiate addiction is a serious problem that can have devastating consequences. However, it is possible to recover from opiate addiction with the right treatment.
At Sana Lake BWC, we offer a comprehensive opiate addiction treatment program that includes therapy and aftercare. Our staff is dedicated to helping you overcome your opiate addiction so that you can live a long and healthy life free from substance abuse.
If you or someone you know is struggling with opiate addiction, please contact us today. We can help you get on the road to recovery.