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Drug Information


Understanding Opiates

Opiates are a group of natural, partially synthetic, or synthetic drugs derived from the poppy plant or chemically synthesized in laboratory settings.


This class of drugs includes both legal and illegal drugs. Legally prescribed opioids include morphine, codeine, and oxycodone. Illegal opioids include heroin.


Opioids are used to help individuals cope with pain. They bind to natural opioid receptors in the brain, mimicking specific chemicals that are related to sensations of pain relief, pleasure, and reward.


When used as prescribed, legal opioids are one of the most effective forms of pain relief, especially when the pain is severe or other attempts to relieve the pain have proven unsuccessful. However, since opioids have both pain relieving properties and positive psychological properties, they are among the most abused types of substances currently available.


When opioids are abused or when illegal opioids, which have a significantly higher potency, are taken usually, the route of administration is altered.


Often pills are ground and the powdered form is snorted, smoked, or mixed with water and injected. These methods of using the substance increase the speed of absorption, leading to a “rush,” a fast acting strong effect of positive sensations.


Even when taken as prescribed however, the potential for abuse and addiction is high and treatment may be required. Repeated use can lead to physical dependence within 4-6 weeks, however psychological addiction can result in as little as two days.

Progressive Diagnostics - Drug Information - Opiates

Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Abuse


  • Mood/Psychological symptoms:

    • Increased general anxiety

    • Anxiety attacks

    • Euphoria

    • Psychosis

    • Improved self-esteem

    • Depression

    • Irritability

    • Lowered motivation


  • Behavioral symptoms:

    • Opioids are used for longer or at a greater amount than intended

    • Unsuccessful attempts to decrease the amount taken

    • Large amount of time spent obtaining, using, or recovering from the drug

    • Abandonment of important activities


  • Physical symptoms:

    • Improved alertness

    • Increased sensitivity to sensory stimuli

    • Constricted blood vessels

    • Increased heart rate

    • High blood pressure

    • Increased energy

    • Decreased appetite

    • Increased sexual arousal

    • Physical agitation

    • Difficulty sleeping

    • Over arousal and hyper-vigilance




Effects of Opioid Abuse


Some of the side effects of opioid use include:

  • Fatigue

  • Constipation

  • Breathlessness

  • A sense of elation

  • Bronchospasm

  • Physical and psychological dependence

  • Nausea

  • Confusion

  • Depressed respiration and difficulty breathing

  • Death (often due to use of more than one substance)

  • Chest pain




Withdrawal Effects of Opioid Abuse


Some of the common withdrawal effects associated with stopping the use of opioids include:


  • Physical and psychological cravings

  • Nausea

  • Stomach pain

  • Cold sweat

  • Chills

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Agitation

  • Anxiety

  • Muscle tension

  • Shaking or quivering

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Enlarged pupils

  • Pain in the bones


We welcome the opportunity to discuss your drug testing requirements,
offering a flexible and comprehensive service to meet your industry needs.


Please feel free to contact us at any time:


Telephone : 1300 711 116


Mob: 0426 979 070 



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