Repeated administration of opioids may become a habit. The side effects include a lack of control over the substance, compulsive use and the presence of problems medical and social. Abrupt withdrawal triggers opioid-abs syndrome incontinence (physical dependence). The abstinence is flu-like, with yawning, mydriasis, rhinorrhea, muscle pain, sweating, piloerection, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, fever, insomnia. It causes anxiety. It also presents a desire very intense for the drug (depending on psychic dependence or craving).
Discuss the changes in the populations of opioid users. Include in this discussion the debate around the availability of Naloxone.
It is estimated that opioid overdose kills around 15,000 Americans every year (Szalavitz).
Naloxone is a competitive antagonist of opioid receptors. It blocks predominantly mu receptors and, to a lesser extent, affects the other opioid receptors and eliminates the effect of both endogenous opioid peptides and exogenous opioids. Naloxone prevents, reduces or eliminates (depending on the dose and time of administration), the effects of opioid analgesics, restores breathing, reduces sedation and euphoria and reduces the hypotensive effect. A continuous debate is in progress regarding whether naloxone would lead to a “false sense of security” which may result in a corresponding rise in the usage of heroin. However, from the limited evidence the reverse seems to be true.
Question 2 Describe several of the psychoactive plants presented in Chapter 14 of your textbook, identifying the active chemicals contained within them, the class of hallucinogens to which they belong, and their purported psychological effects. Cannabis sativa- Scientists have identified more than 61 chemical ingredients, known as "cannabinoids", specific to cannabis. THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid (Fusar-Poli, Crippa and Bhattacharyya). It belongs to the hallucinogenic class of cannabinoids. Cannabis can cause psychological dependence. Effects include: Relaxation, Disinhibition, Hilarity, Feeling slow over time, Sleepiness, Sensory disturbances, Difficulty in carrying out complex functions: communicate clearly, immediate memory, concentration, learning processes. Atropa Belladonna - The active constituents in Atropa belladonna are atropine, hyoscyamine and scopolamine. It belongs to the hallucinogenic class of piperidines. It can cause psychological effects like hallucinations, delirium and mind dissociation. Lophophora williamsii – Chemicals contained in this plant include Alkaloids, Lophophorine, Lophotine, Mescaline and Pellotine. It belongs to the hallucinogenic class of indole alkaloids. The sychological effects are that it is sympathomimetic, profoundly alter perception of self and reality, increase suggestibility, and intensify emotions. Should research efforts be encouraged to determine the possible use of these hallucinogens in efforts to improve the human condition? Explain your viewpoint, addressing either your objections or advocacy, supported by tenable assumptions and sound reasoning. Dr. Max Rinkel, Center for Mental Health of Massachusetts,