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Opioids 

Opioids
Chapter:
Opioids
Author(s):

Darius A. Rastegar

and Michael I. Fingerhood

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190214647.003.0006
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date: 09 April 2020

Opioids are a class of drugs that include heroin and prescription pain relievers that act on endorphin receptors and produce analgesia and euphoria. The most serious complication of their use is overdose; with heroin use, most medical complications are due to use of needles. Withdrawal symptoms include dysphoria, yawning, tearing, diarrhea, cramps, nausea, and piloerection. Opioids can be detected in urine drug tests, although not all synthetic opioids are detectable. Treatment options for addiction include medically supervised withdrawal (detoxification), psychosocial treatment, and medication-assisted treatment with methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone. Opioid agonist treatments with methadone or buprenorphine are the most effective options. Buprenorphine can be prescribed by physicians in office-based practices but methadone is limited to licensed programs.

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