How do prescription opioids affect the brain?

Opioids bind to and activate opioid receptors on cells located in many areas of the brain, spinal cord, and other organs in the body, especially those involved in feelings of pain and pleasure. When opioids attach to these receptors, they block pain signals sent from the brain to the body and release large amounts of dopamine throughout the body. This release can strongly reinforce the act of taking the drug, making the user want to repeat the experience.

Show All Answers

1. What are opioids?
2. What are prescription opioids?
3. What are common prescription opioids?
4. What are some possible effects of prescription opioids on the brain and body?
5. How do people misuse prescription opioids?
6. How do prescription opioids affect the brain?
7. What are the other health effects of opioid medications?