Opioid Drug Abuse and Modulation of Immune Function.
A recent review article has pieced together part the mechanism behind the fact that opioids have immune system suppression properties. Morphine, a popular opioid, and one of the main actors in the modern opiate epidemic of dependence and addiction interacts with factors within the immune system that break down the coordination of the two main cells involved in innate and adaptive immunity. A disruption in one of the primary immune defense operators, this action may leave users susceptible to a multitude of illnesses. This review highlights the importance of understanding the mechanism of opioid-related immunosuppression so that physicians can better treat patients and the public is more aware of the risks. Addicts, especially, should be made aware of the risks posed by illicit intravenous drug use.
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