OTC (Over-the-Counter) Drugs are the drugs that are bought in local drug stores. These are easy to buy (in fact, anyone can buy them). Opiates are highly addicting pain relievers. These medicines are useful but would it justify the reason why legal opiates are just over-the counter?
Opiates are either active or synthetic. The active ones include: morphine, thebaine, and codeine while heroin and hydrocodone were just synthesized substances mainly from morphine and codeine.
Morphine is named after the Roman god of dreams, Morpheus. It can relieve almost any type of pain and it can also alleviate anxiety and suffering. This drug is used only for short-term treatments. It is used in both pre-operative and post-operative procedures. In case of overdose or intoxication, (Naloxone) Narcan is given as an antidote.
Codeine took its name from kodeia which means poppyhead. It is slightly milder than morphine and it is also usually used as an ingredient for cough syrups.
Heroin was believed to have non-addicting substances. It was even used before as treatment for morphine and codeine addiction but some researches prove that physical and psychological dependence develop with chronic use. Tramadol, Oxycontin, and Lortab are also effective pain-killers. The active ingredient found in Loperamide and Imodium is also an opioid. Some prescription pain-killers include Demerol, Dilaudid, and Pantopon.
Other synthetic opiates are methadone, meperidine, propoxyphene, and LAAM. Methadone was first synthesized during World War II as an opiate agonist which mimic the effects of the drug by binding to their natural receptors. Methadone is excreted in the urine, so instances that lead to decreased urination frequency may also lead to drug tolerance and intoxication.
Whether naturally occurring (active) or synthesized, opiates are potentially addictive substances. Tolerance to this drug is abruptly developed. It takes place when the brain is getting used to receiving amounts of opiates, and eventually increasing the amount until the brain craves for more than what is expected to achieve euphoric effects. When the user runs out of it, withdrawal from the drug will occur. This usually happens few hours after the last dose taken. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, anxiety, pain, and diarrhea. The reason why legal opiates are over-the-counter can never be justified because of its addicting properties. Whether it has many positive effects, the harm that it could do to a person is greater. Above all these, one thing is true;, some people are just doing it for money.