How do opioid drugs work?
Endorphins Your body produces its own opioid drugs, called endorphins. Endorphins are your body’s natural painkillers. Inside your brain is a number of what are called “pain receptors.” Their job is to tell you when pain is happening in your body. For example, if someone steps on your toe, your pain receptors light up and you cry “Ow.” At first the pain is quite intense, but by the time the toe stepper is telling you how sorry he or she is, it doesn’t hurt quite so much. While your pain receptors have told you to feel pain, they are also signalling to your endorphins to come and relieve the pain. The endorphins “fill up” your pain receptors, so in a few minutes the pain in your toe seems trivial. Endorphins can boost your mood too, and affect how you respond to situations of stress. Exercise is a great way to release endorphins. Take a closer look at those all-weather joggers you see running around the park every day. See the sweat pouring off them, see the glow in their faces. They’re