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what are opiates

Opiate is a term classically used in pharmacology to mean a drug derived from opium. Opioid, a more modern term, is used to designate all substances, both natural and synthetic, that bind to opioid receptors in the brain (including antagonists)

Opiates are alkaloid compounds naturally found in the opium poppy plant Papaver somniferum. The psychoactive compounds found in the opium plant include morphine, codeine, and thebaine. All opioids, like opiates, are considered drugs of high abuse potential and are listed on various “Substance-Control Schedules” under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act of the United States.

In 2013, between 13 and 20 million people used opiates recreationally (0.3% to 0.4% of the global population between the ages of 15 and 65)