Opioid Use Disorders
Opioid misuse, abuse, and dependence (opioid use disorders) refer to the pathologic self-administration of substances that activate central mu-opiate receptors, for the purpose of experiencing an altered mental state (euphoria or relaxation), or in the opioid-dependent individual for the purpose of avoiding opioid withdrawal. Naturally-occurring opiates (morphine, codeine) are found in Papaver somniferum poppy pods as a latex sap, opium; heroin is a semisynthetic opioid derived from opium. Prescription analgesics include semisynthetic (e.g., hydrocodone, oxycodone) and synthetic (e.g., methadone, fentanyl) opioids. Both heroin and opioid analgesics may be insufflated or injected to get “high”; other routes include smoking heroin and swallowing/chewing opioid analgesics. Routine toxicology detects only opiates (heroin metabolites), and special gas chromatograph/mass spectrometry (GC/ MS) detection is required for semisynthetic and synthetic opioid analgesics.