What is an Analgesic?

Analgesics refers to a class of drugs used to relieve pain. In addiction, analgesics refer to pain relievers that are commonly abused, such as opioids. Opioids are analgesics that act on the central nervous system to reduce pain perception and produce euphoria.

Using opioids for a long period of time can lead to tolerance, dependence, and addiction, and withdrawal from opioids can be associated with severe physical symptoms, including abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and intense cravings. Effective treatment for opioid addiction typically involves a combination of behavioral therapy, support groups, and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings and to support long-term recovery.

MAT may involve the use of agonist drugs, such as methadone or buprenorphine, which are similar in structure to opioids but have a slower onset and longer duration of action, reducing the intensity of withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Alternatively, it may involve using antagonist drugs, such as naltrexone, which block the effects of opioids and reduce cravings.

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