The most serious long-term effect of opiate use is the likelihood of addiction, particularly when the drugs are taken for non-medical purposes. Tolerance to the drug builds rather quickly, as users will require higher amounts to achieve the same effect. Cravings for the drug are also common and when the drug is stopped uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms can occur. Long-term opiate users may also experience depression, anxiety, irritability or erratic mood swings.

Opiate Effects

In addition to relieving pain, opiates produce intense feelings of pleasure that can last for a number of hours. Other short-term effects of opiates include slower respiration, drowsiness and slower heart rate. The drugs can cause mental confusion, slurred speech and impaired motor function. Some opiate users also experience nausea and vomiting after taking the drugs.
The most serious long-term effect of opiate use is the likelihood of addiction, particularly when the drugs are taken for non-medical purposes. Tolerance to the drug builds rather quickly, as users will require higher amounts to achieve the same effect. Cravings for the drug are also common and when the drug is stopped uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms can occur. Long-term opiate users may also experience depression, anxiety, irritability or erratic mood swings.

Are You Addicted?

Opiate addiction may lead to a myriad of symptoms, including:

  • Erratic, intense mood swings
  • Exhaustion, tendency to nod off
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Impaired mental function and memory loss
  • Withdrawal symptoms if the drug is stopped
  • Intense cravings for the drug
  • Delusions, hallucinations and paranoia
  • More time spent getting, using and recovery from opiates
  • Withdrawal from friends, family and social activities
×