Opiate addiction has serious physical and mental consequences. Understanding the effects of addiction on the body, it can help to know how opiate addiction works, as well as the long-term effects of both opiate use and opiate withdrawal.
The Mechanics of Opiate Addiction
When a person uses an opiate, such as Oxycontin, Vicodin, or heroin, the drug activates receptors in the brain that relieve pain and create a sense of calm or euphoria. Opiates mimic naturally occurring chemicals that our bodies produce in order to cope with sudden, extreme physical stress.