Where do opiates come from?

Are all of todays medicinal opiates chemically synthesized? If not, where are the poppies grown? Is it cheaper to synthesize Morphine and Heroin?

(This question is in regards to the Afghan Poppy farmers. If they had a “legal” outlet for their crops, than the government might not have to pay them to not grow flowers.)

Synthetic drugs are called opiods and the main purpose of developing them is to have something that does the same as opiates, but which is not addictive.

Most of the opiates that aren’t synthesized come from Turkey, where there is quite a business in legit opium farming. Also, scientists are researching a cousin of papaver somniferum that produces thebaine, the substance used to make codiene, while at the same time producing only negligible amounts of morphine.

Sorry, kniz, synthetic opioids are addictive. Demerol and Fentanyl are two that come to mind. Both are highly addictive. Methadone is another opioid and also addictive.

In general, the opiates (drugs derived from the poppy) are cheaper than synthetic opioids.

Then why the synthetics? Does anyone know?

Well, heroin was synthesized to be a stronger painkiller than morphine, but with less of certain side effects - meaning a smaller dose would be sufficient for a particular pain, and the patient’s breathing would be less depressed (depressed breathing puts you at risk for things like pneumonia and, if extreme, death). The attempt was successful, but the downside was heroin was even more addictive than morphine. Heroin is used medicinally on a limited basis in Europe, but not in the United States.

Methadone was synthesized by the Germans in WWII (if I recall correctly - may have been as early as WWI) because their source of natural opium had been cut off and they still had lots of war-wounded in pain. It was also designed to be a long-acting painkiller. For instance, a dose of morphine or heroin typically last 4-6 hours. A dose of methadone lasts 24-72 hours. Methadone is used to treat opiate addiction (with some controversy) and also to treat pain, such as with cancer patients. It’s long acting properties reduce the number of pills/shots per day in patients who are already consuming vast quantities of pharmaceuticals, and because it is long-acting, avoids some of the swings in state of conciousness of the shorter-acting natural opiates.

That’s two examples - I’m sure there are other reasons for other synthetic forms of opiates.

Which, of course, is ludicrous.
Pharmaceutical companies have been pushing supposedly “non-habit-forming” opiates/opioids since the days when Bayer created a synthetic alternative to morphine. You may have heard of it; it’s brand name was “Heroin”.

All of the opiates/opiods are physically habit-forming, and all produce tolerance. Don’t let 'em tell you any different.