A medication or illegal drug that is either derived from the opium poppy, or that mimics the effect of an opiate (a synthetic opiate). Opiate drugs are narcotic sedatives that depress activity of the central nervous system, reduce pain, and induce sleep. Side effects may include oversedation, nausea, and constipation. Long- term use of opiates can produce addiction, and overuse can cause overdose and potentially death.
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opi·ate 'ō-pē-ət, -.āt n
1) a drug (as morphine, heroin, and codeine) containing or derived from opium and tending to induce sleep and to alleviate pain broadly narcotic (1)
2) opioid (1)
opiate adj
1) of, relating to, or being opium or an opium derivative
2) of, relating to, binding, or being an opiate <\opiate receptors>

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strictly, one of a group of drugs derived from opium; however, the term is often used to include synthetic drugs with similar effects, in which case opioid is used synonymously. The group includes apomorphine, codeine, morphine, and papaverine. Opiates depress the central nervous system: they relieve pain, suppress coughing, and stimulate vomiting. The most important opiate - morphine - and its synthetic derivative diamorphine (see heroin) are narcotic, producing feelings of euphoria before inducing stupor. They are only used for severe pain since they cause dependence.

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opi·ate (oґpe-ət) 1. a drug derived from opium, or a semisynthetic drug derived an opium component. 2. hypnotic (def. 2).

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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  • Opiate — O pi*ate, n. [From {Opium}: cf. F. opiat.] 1. Originally, a medicine of a thicker consistency than sirup, prepared with opium. Parr. [1913 Webster] 2. Any medicine that contains opium, and has the quality of inducing sleep or repose; a narcotic.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • Opiate — O pi*ate, v. t. To subject to the influence of an opiate; to put to sleep. [R.] Fenton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • opiate — [ō′pē it; ] for v. [, ō′pēāt΄] n. [ML opiatum: see OPIUM] 1. any drug containing opium or any of its derivatives, and acting as a sedative and narcotic 2. anything tending to quiet, soothe, or deaden adj. 1. containing opium 2. bringing sleep,… …   English World dictionary

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