Book Definition: Highly addictive drugs, derived from opium, that can produce a profound sense of well-being and have strong pain-relieving properties. Some common side affects of these drugs are misuse and overdose.

In Your Own Words

  • Opiates are drugs that take pain away and are addictive (similar to analgesic drugs)
  • They are drugs that make you feel good.
  • They suppress physical sensation and response to stimulation.


  • Morphine and codeine can be prescribed to reduce pain from patients recovering from multiple injuries and surgeries. This was a common treatment in WW II for soldiers on the battlefield that were injured, many who have survived have become addicted.
  • Methadone is a treatment for heroin addiction.
  • Heroin gives a strong rush of pleasurable sensations, suppresses pain, and it is more addictive than morphine.
  • Codeine (sedative)

On the "workbench" of consciousness in your mind, the workers are constantly happy or oblivious to everything.external image 831578646_59ad0e9baa.jpg
What some Opiates look like.


  • An interesting experiment involving giving opiates to amputees, supported that pain receptors in an area of a missing limb are now activted and felt within the phantom limb. This suggest that the pain is not felt from current experiences, but from previous ones. For example, if an amputee victim with a missing leg were to experience a pain threat that they did when they had a leg, they would now feel it it in the phantom limb. The injured tissues are obviously blocked off, but the opiates cause the memory to react with the pain by bringing up previous experiences that had caused the victim pain. Experiments like this have lead to better clinical treatment and prevention of pathological pain.

Melzack, R., Coderre, T. J., Katz, J., & Vaccarino, A. L. (2001). Central neuroplasticity and pathological pain. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 933(1), 157-174.
Melzack, R. (1990). The tragedy of needless pain. Scientific American, 262(2), 27-33.

Additional Resources