Opiates, is the class of drugs that include the following substances : heroin, morphine, and some prescription painkillers (OxyContin, Vicodin, and Fentanyl). Opiates act on brain receptors that regulate pain and emotions. Opiates as a general class of drugs have substantial abuse tendency.
There are certain addiction medications that have been proven to help patients with opiates addiction.
Medical treatment strategies for opiate addiction have evolved since the 1950’s, when methadone was first used to aid withdrawal. Methadone maintenance programs, in which patients are given methadone, another opiate, as a substitute for the drug of dependence, have been a mainstay of opiate addiction treatment for decades. Now other drugs, like buprenorphine, are given in a similar way to be a substitute for the drug of addiction. For the majority of patients this is not an acceptable alternative, because the physical dependence continues, and is often a lifelong commitment. For most patients, the goal of treatment is complete abstinence.