Heroin, Opium and MorphineWatch
I've heard that they have something to do with each other, but what relation do they have?
Opiates is the whole group of drugs that include morphine, heroin, codeine etc - they are also known as the narcotic analgesics (Greek an = not; algis = pain therefore pain-killers). They work by a central mechanism i.e in the brain, so alter the perception of pain and thus relieve it whereas the peripherally acting analgesics like aspirin or ibuprofen act at the site of the pain by inhibiting cyclo-oxygenase, an enzyme necessary for the synthesis of prostaglandins (PGs - chemical that mediate pain). Yes, as others have said above, they are highly addictive when misused, In pharmacies, they are kept in special locked cabinets and are known as controlled drugs.
Codeine is converted to morphine in the liver.
M (MSc Therapeutics)