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Opioid Replacement Therapy


Opioids or narcotics as often called are medications that relieve pain. The medication in this class of drugs include Codeine (as in Panadeine forte, Mersyndol and Neurofen plus), Hydrocodone (e.g Vicodin); Oxycodone (e.g OxyContin, Targin); Morphine (eg Kapanol, MS Contin), Hyromorphone (Jurnista) and Fetanyl.

These medications work by reducing the intensity of pain signals reaching the brain. Apart from this, they also affect the brain areas controlling our emotions thereby adding to their effects of diminishing the amount of painful stimulus being perceived. This last aspect of their actions explains why they produce their characteristic psychoactive effects that potentiate addictions.

Apart from the prescribed Opioids listed above, there are other drugs that have these psychoactive effects but are not usually prescribed. These include drugs like heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and LSD which are often referred to as illicit drugs.

In Australia, there are many new psychoactive drugs that have been designed to mimic established illicit drugs already known. Due to the short action of these drugs, they have a high risk of dependency.

Dependence on opioid drugs such as codeine; heroin and morphine is associated with a range of health and social problems. Treatment with an opioid pharmacotherapy therapy (ORT) -in the context of psychosocial support-can reduce drug cravings, improve physical and mental health and reduce drug-related crime.

At Zenith Medical Centre, we have services that can assist our patients get on the opioid replacement program within an interdisciplinary setting to achieve a drug free life.


Remember; at Zenith Medical Centre; it’s all in your best interest!!!