Opiates Information

Opiates Morphine Heroin Dilaudid
Opium Poppy, Crude
Opium, Codeine, Heroin,
and Morphine
Morphine Powdered
Heroin
Hydromorphone
(Dilaudid)

Introduction

Opiates are primarily central nervous system (CNS) depressants and narcotic analgesics. The use of opiates typically creates physical as well as psychological dependence and tolerance. Opium is the milky latex fluid contained in the unripened seed pod of the opium poppy (papaver somniferum). Opium contains a number of different alkaloids. But only one family of alkaloids, the phemanthrene alkaloids, can be converted to narcotic substances. It is this highly addictive family of alkaloids and their derivatives that are controlled by national and international law. From this family comes morphine, codeine, and thebaine - the natural opiates. The semi-synthetic opiates are then derived from these substances.

Opium

  • Drug Class: 
    CNS Depressant; Narcotic Analgesic
  • Street Names: 
    Hop; Tar
  • Description: 
    Opium is the crudest form and also the least potent of the Opiates. Opium is the milky latex fluid contained in the unripened seed pod of the opium poppy. As the fluid is exposed to air, it hardens and turns black in color. This dried form is typically smoked, but can also be eaten.

Morphine

  • Drug Class: 
    Antitussive; CNS Depressant; Narcotic Analgesic
  • Brand Names: 
    Apokyn; Astramorph; Avinza; Depodur; Dulcontin; Duromorph; Epimorph; Kadian; M-Eslon; M.O.S; MS/L; MS/S; MSIR; Meconium; Morfina; Morphia; Morphine Extra-Forte; Morphine Forte; Morphine H.P; Morphinism; Morphitec; Morphium; Moscontin; Ms Contin; Nepenthe; OMS Concentrate; Oramorph SR; Ospalivina; Paregorique; RMS Uniserts; Rescudose; Roxanol; Statex
  • Street Names: 
    M; Morph; Pain Killers; Pain Pills
  • Description: 
    Morphine is found in both legally and illegally manufactured forms. Legally manufactured morphine is usually found in white to brown powdered form or in pill form. It is typically injected prior to painful surgery or childbirth. The pill form is sometimes prescribed for severe cases of chronic pain. Illegally manufactured morphine is usually found in powdered form and is either sniffed, injected, or smoked.
  • Excretion: 
    In the 72-hour urine, 75% of a morphine dose is excreted as morphine-3-glucuronide, 10% as free morphine, and very small amounts of morphine-6-glucuronide, morphine-3-ethereal sulfate, and morphine-3,6-diglucuronide.

Codeine

  • Synonyms: 
    Morphine methylester; Methylmorphine
  • Drug Class: 
    Antitussive; CNS Depressant; Narcotic Analgesic
  • Brand Names: 
    Codicept; Coducept; Tylenol with Codeine
  • Street Names: 
    Pain Killers; Pain Pills
  • Description: 
    More than 90 percent of the morphine produced in the United States is converted into codeine. It is also the most widely prescribed narcotic in the United States, prescribed for both pain relief and as an advanced cough suppressant. Codeine is a controlled substance that requires a prescription.
  • Excretion: 
    According to a 1989 study: The following compounds were found in the 24-hour urine samples of 3 subjects receiving an oral dose of 20 mg to 22 mg of codeine base: 32% to 46% conjugated codeine, 5% to 17% free codeine, 10% to 21% conjugated norcodeine, a trace of free norcodeine, 5% to 13% conjugated morphine, and a trace of free morphine.

Heroin

  • Synonyms: 
    Acetomorphine; Diacetylmorphine; Diamorphine
  • Drug Class: 
    CNS Depressant; Narcotic Analgesic
  • Street Names: 
    H; Junk; Smack
  • Description: 
    Heroin is a semi-synthetic opiate derived from morphine or codeine and is the most potent of the opiates. It is typically found in white to brown powdered form and is injected, sniffed, or smoked. In the past, powders sold as illicit heroin typically contained only 1% to 10% of the drug. Since injection is the most efficient manner of delivering the drug to the central nervous system, heroin was normally injected. In recent years, however, street supplies have become much purer. The availability of higher purity heroin has meant that more users can now sniff or smoke the drug and still achieve the desired effect. Potential users once turned away by the stigma surrounding the injection of heroin are now far more likely to experiment through the already familiar ingestion methods of sniffing and smoking.
  • Excretion: 
    According to a 1989 study: The following compounds were found in urine samples of volunteers over a 40-hour period following intravenous infusion of 70 mg of heroin: 38.3% conjugated morphine, 4.2% morphine, 1.3% 6-acetylmorphine, and 0.1% unchanged heroin. Maximum urine concentrations of total morphine averaged 116,000 ng/ml between 5.6 and 8.6 hours following the start of the 7-hour infusion.

Hydrocodone

  • Synonyms: 
    Dihydrocodeinone
  • Drug Class: 
    Antitussive; CNS Depressant; Narcotic Analgesic
  • Brand Names: 
    Bekadid; Codinovo; Dico; Dicodid; Multacodin; Vicodin
  • Street Names: 
    Pain Killers; Pain Pills
  • Description: 
    Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opiate derived from thebaine. The therapeutic dose of 5 to 10 mg is pharmacologically equivalent to 60 mg of oral morphine. Sales and production of this drug have increased significantly in recent years, as have diversion and illicit use. Hydrocodone is marketed in combination with other products as an advanced cough suppressant, by prescription only. These are available as tablets, capsules and/or syrups.
  • Excretion: 
    In the 72-hour urine, approximately 12% of a single hydrocodone dose is excreted as unchanged hydrocodone, 5% as norhydrocodone, 4% as conjugated hydromorphone, 3% as 6-hydrocodol, and 0.1% as conjugated 6-hydromorphol.

Hydromorphone

  • Synonyms: 
    Dihydromorphinone
  • Drug Class: 
    Antitussive; CNS Depressant; Narcotic Analgesic
  • Brand Names: 
    DiMo; Dilaudid; Dimorphone; Hymorphan; Idromorfone; Laudacon; Laudicon; Novolaudon; Palladone; Paramorphan
  • Street Names: 
    Dillies; Little D; Lords
  • Description: 
    Hydromorphone is a semi-synthetic opiate derived from thebaine. Its analgesic potency is from 2 to 8 times that of morphine. Hydromorphone is marketed both in tablet and injectable forms. Much sought after by narcotic addicts, hydromorphone is usually obtained by the abuser through fraudulent prescriptions or theft. The tablets are often dissolved and injected as a substitute for heroin.
  • Excretion: 
    In the 24-hour urine, an average of 30% of a dose is excreted as conjugated hydromorphone and 6% as free hydromorphone.

Oxycodone

  • Synonyms: 
    Dihydrohydroxycodeinone
  • Drug Class: 
    CNS Depressant; Narcotic Analgesic
  • Brand Names: 
    Combunox; Dinarkon; Diphydrone; Endocet; Endodan; Endone; Eubine; Eucodal; Eucodalum; Eukodal; Eutagen; Oxanest; Oxicon; Oxicone; Oxikon; OxyFAST; OxyIR; OxyNorm; ; Oxycodon; Oxycon; Oxycontin; Pancodine; Percobarb; Percocet; Percodan; Percolone; Remoxy; Rivacocet; Roxicet; Roxicodone; Roxiprin; Supendol; Supeudol; Tecodin; Tekodin; Thecodine; Thekodin; Tylox
  • Street Names: 
    Blues; Oxy; Pain Killers; Pain Pills; Percs; Roxies
  • Description: 
    Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opiate derived from thebaine. It is similar to codeine, but is more potent and has a higher abuse and dependence potential. It is effective orally and is marketed in combination with aspirin (Percodan) or acetaminophen (Percocet) for the relief of pain. Addicts either take these tablets orally or dissolve them in water, filter out the insoluble material, and "mainline" the active drug.

Sources:

  • Baselt, Randall C., and Robert H. Cravey. Disposition of Toxic Drugs and Chemicals in Man. Chicago: Year Book Medical Publishers, Inc., 1989.
  • Beyond the ABC's Information for Professionals - Opiate Narcotics. Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission. 12 Sept. 2001 <http://www.nadc.gov.ab.ca/aadac/addictions/beyond/beyond_opiate_narcotics.htm>.
  • Criminal Justice Home Page. Lincoln Land Community College. 12 Sept. 2001 <http://www.llcc.cc.il.us/justice/drugs/drugsclass.html>.
  • Drug Information - Heroin. The Centre for Recovery. 07 Sept. 2001 <http://dialspace.dial.pipex.com/town/terrace/gjl37/druginfo/heroin.html>.
  • Drug Photos from the IPRC Website. Indiana Prevention Resource Center. 07 Sept. 2001 <http://www.drugs.indiana.edu/prevention/iprcpics.html>.
  • Synthetics & Other Opiates. Drug Free Workplace. 07 Sept. 2001 <http://www.drugfreeworkplace.com/drugsofabuse/synthetic.htm>.