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Opiummorphineheroinand related synthetics The opiates are unrivalled in their ability to relieve pain.
Opium is the dried milky exudate obtained from the unripe seed pods of the opium poppy plant Papaver somniferumwhich grows naturally throughout most of Turkey.
Of the 20 or more alkaloids found in opium, only a few are pharmacologically active. The important constituents of opium are morphine 10 percentpapaverine 1 percentcodeine 0.
Papaverine is pharmacologically distinct from the narcotic agents and is essentially devoid of effects on the central nervous system. Codeine is considerably less potent one-sixth and is obtained from morphine.
Diacetylmorphine—or heroin —was developed from morphine by the Bayer Company of Germany in and is 5 to 10 times as potent as morphine itself.
Opiates are not medically ideal. Tolerance is developed quite rapidly and completely in the more important members of the group, morphine and heroin, and they are highly addictive. In addition, they produce respiratory depression and frequently cause nausea and emesis.
As a result, there has been a constant search for synthetic substitutes: These synthetics exhibit a more favourable tolerance factor than the more potent of the opiates, but in being addictive they fall short of an ideal analgesic.
Of this entire series, codeine has the least addiction potential and heroin has the greatest. History of opiates The narcotic and sleep-producing qualities of the poppy have been known to humankind throughout recorded history. Sumerian records from ancient Mesopotamia to bce refer to the poppy, and medicinal reference to opium is contained in Assyrian medical tablets.
The Romans probably learned of opium during their conquest of the eastern Mediterranean. Galen — ce was an enthusiastic advocate of the virtues of opium, and his books became the supreme authority on the subject for hundreds of years.
The art of medicinals was preserved by the Islamic civilization following the decline of the Roman Empire. Opium was introduced by the Arabs to Persia, China, and India. Paracelsus —professor at the University of Basel, introduced laudanum, a tincture of opium. Le Mort, a professor of chemistry at the University of Leyden —18discovered paregoric, useful for the control of diarrhea, by combining camphor with tincture of opium.
There is no adequate comprehensive history of the addictive aspects of opium use in spite of the fact that it has been known since antiquity. Because there were few alternative therapeutics or painkillers until the 19th century, opium was somewhat of a medical panacea. Thus, although at least one account, in by a London physician named Jones, spoke of an excessive use of opium, there appears to have been no real history of concern until recent times, and opiates were easily available in the West in the 19th century—for instance, in a variety of patent medicines.
Physicians prescribed them freely, they were easy to obtain without prescription, and they were used by all social classes. At one time the extensive use of these medicines for various gynecological difficulties probably accounted for high addiction rates among women three times the rate among men.
The invention of the hypodermic needle in the midth century and its subsequent use to administer opiates during wartime produced large numbers of addicted soldiers aboutduring the U. Civil War alone ; it was thought mistakenly that if opiates were administered by vein, no hunger or addiction would develop, since the narcotic did not reach the stomach.
By the turn of the 20th century, narcotic use had become a worldwide problem, and various national and international regulatory bodies sought to control opium traffic in China and Southeast Asia.
In the 20th century, narcotic use was largely associated with metropolitan slums, principally among the poor and culturally deprived. Narcotic use eventually spread to middle-class youth.
Physiological effects of opiates The various opiates and related synthetics produce similar physiological effects.
All are qualitatively similar to morphine in action and differ from each other mainly in degree. The most long-lasting and conspicuous physiological responses are obtained from the central nervous system and the smooth muscle of the gastrointestinal tract.The Legalization of Marijuana Marijuana is a very prominent and controversial issue in society today.
Although many slanderous claims have been made about cannabis in recent history, the truths are slowly starting to resurface. The herb Marijuana has evolved over the years.
Originally a native to central and south Asia, Marijuana has been used as raw material for clothing, writing materials and ropes, as well as food and as medicine. Voices From Both Sides of the Medical Marijuana Debate Leave a Comment:: Posted to: Drug Abuse, Drugs and Society, Understanding Addiction Let's take a look at some of the arguments from both sides of the medical marijuana issue.
The Science behind the DEA's Long War on Marijuana. Experts say listing cannabis among the world’s deadliest drugs ignores decades of scientific and medical data. According to an August 9, article posted by Canwest News Service, "Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Sunday that Canada will train Mexican police officers to assist Mexico in its brutal drug war against rival drug cartels" ("Canada to Train Mexican Officers to Fight Drug Cartels").The training plan is part of Harper's recently announced anti-crime bill, the Anti-Crime Capacity.
Social and ethical issues of drug abuse. There are many social and ethical issues surrounding the use and abuse of drugs. These issues are made complex particularly because of conflicting values concerning drug use within modern societies.
Values may be influenced by multiple factors including social, religious, and personal views.