Short-Acting Opioids

Short-acting opioids are a category of opiate drugs that have a significant but relatively brief, duration of action in the body. Understanding these substances is crucial, especially in the context of pain management and the risks of addiction. Short-acting opioids, while effective for managing acute pain, come with considerable risks. Understanding these drugs, their potential for abuse and the importance of cautious use is vital. For those struggling with addiction to these substances, seeking professional help is a important step towards recovery and health.

Short-acting opioids are designed to provide quick pain relief and typically have a shorter duration of effectiveness. Their effects decrease by half in a relatively short time frame, often around 8 hours, a concept known as ‘half-life.’ This means that after about 8 hours, the concentration of the drug in the bloodstream drops to half its initial level.

Examples of Short-Acting Opioids

  1. Heroin
    An illegal opioid known for its rapid onset and intense effects. It is highly addictive and poses significant risks of overdose and health complications.
  2. Percocet
    A prescription medication that combines oxycodone (a short-acting opioid) and acetaminophen. It’s used for moderate to severe pain but also has a potential for abuse and addiction.

Short-acting opioids, including codeine, hydrocodone and morphine, are primarily prescribed for acute pain relief, such as post-surgery or injury pain. They provide rapid pain relief by binding to brain and spinal cord receptors but have a short duration of action, which is useful for adjusting pain management.

However, these opioids carry significant risks due to their potent effects on the brain’s reward system, leading to tolerance, physical dependence and a high risk of overdose, especially when mixed with substances like alcohol or benzodiazepines.

Misuse can quickly lead to addiction, necessitating professional treatment involving medical detoxification, medication-assisted treatment, counselling and support groups. Given the opioid crisis and associated rise in opioid-related deaths, there’s a growing emphasis on careful monitoring and regulation of short-acting opioids to prevent over-prescription and promote safer use.

    Addiction & Mental Health

    Treatment Services

    Founded in 2008, WeDoRecover has evolved from an advisory service for addiction treatment into a comprehensive provider of care, following its 2019 merger with Changes Addiction Rehab in Johannesburg. Specialising in connecting patients to top-tier addiction treatment centers in the UK, South Africa and Thailand, WeDoRecover supports individuals globally, including those from the United Arab Emirates and Europe. Accepting both South African medical aid and international health insurance our organisation facilitates access to high-quality treatment for substance and alcohol use disorders, offering individualised care that addresses the physical, mental and social needs of patients.

    Our team, led by Gareth Carter, offers empathetic and professional support, guiding you through every step of the treatment process. Whether you're in South Africa or abroad, our acceptance of various insurance plans makes quality care accessible, providing a platform for lasting recovery and a healthier future.

    Inpatient Rehab

    Rehab care is a good option if you are at risk of experiencing strong withdrawal symptoms when you try stop a substance. This option would also be recommended if you have experienced recurrent relapses or if you have tried a less-intensive treatment without success.


    If you're committed to your sobriety but cannot take a break from your daily duties for an inpatient program. Outpatient rehab treatment might suit you well if you are looking for a less restricted format for addiction treatment or simply need help with mental health.


    Therapy can be good step towards healing and self-discovery. If you need support without disrupting your routine, therapy offers a flexible solution for anyone wishing to enhance their mental well-being or work through personal issues in a supportive, confidential environment.

    Mental Health

    Are you having persistent feelings of being swamped, sad or have sudden surges of anger or intense emotional outbursts? These are warning signs of unresolved trauma mental health. A simple assesment by a mental health expert could provide valuable insights into your recovery.

    Finding the right rehab close to you is simple with WeDoRecover. Our network includes the finest rehab centers, ensuring personalised, quality care for your recovery needs. Let Gareth Carter and our empathetic team help guide you to a center that feels right for you, offering expert care and support. Start your healing today by choosing a rehab that's not just close to you, but also that truly cares about your loved ones recovery.

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