Narcotic Analgesics Essay

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The quote “pain is weakness leaving the body”; can be traced to the Marine Corps. This motivational quote is often used to inspire marines to endure painful stimuli. But what is pain? Pain is a neurological response to stressful stimuli, such as an illness or injury. It can manifest in one of two ways: chronic or acute pain. Chronic pain is persistent pain that can last for years. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the National Institutes of Health, it is estimated that more than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. In order to alleviate this chronic pain, most patients and doctors turn to narcotic analgesics. The issue with treating pain with narcotic analgesics, is that pain is subjective. …show more content…
Narcotic analgesics bind to the seven different opioid receptors in the body. There are three different types of opioids. Opioid agonists, which activate pain relieving neurotransmitters. Opioid antagonists which act opposite to opioid agonists by preventing the binding of agonists. This is useful in reversing the effects of an opioid overdose (Moscou and Snipe). Mixed agonist, and antagonists provide the benefits of both. Narcotic analgesics like many other drugs have the greatest efficacy when administered parenterally (by injection). However, because most narcotic analgesics are schedule II drugs, (drugs that have a high risk for addiction and abuse), parental dosage forms must be administered by a licensed doctor. This takes away from the convenience of PRN or as needed pain relief. For this reason they make narcotic analgesics available in prescription form. This way patients can take medication as often as necessary and when convenient. Although, opioids provide much needed pain relief they also have nasty side effects. Side effects include euphoria, respiratory depression, sedation, pain relief, and a high tendency for …show more content…
To be refilled, the patient must go to their health care provider and request a refill. If they are not granted a refill these patients may go through withdrawal. Because the withdrawal symptoms of opiates are not especially pleasant, and the user might have become physically, and emotional dependent on the drug they may turn to illegal drugs. Heroin is the drug most opioid addicts turn to. Heroin provides the same euphoria and pain relief as prescription opioids. Prescription opioids are not the only pain relieving therapy available. Other options include acupuncture, TENS, and biofeedback therapy. Acupuncture has been used to treat pain since ancient China. Acupuncture for pain treatment involves sticking needs in the body to stimulate pain relieving neurotransmitters. TENS, or transcutaneous electrical stimulation, use electrical impulses that block the transmission of pain messages. Biofeedback involves training oneself to relax, to decrease pain

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