G-protein coupled receptor that functions as receptor for endogenous enkephalins and for a subset of other opioids. Ligand binding causes a conformation change that triggers signaling via guanine nucleotide-binding proteins (G proteins) and modulates the activity of down-stream effectors, such as adenylate cyclase. Signaling leads to the inhibition of adenylate cyclase activity. Inhibits neurotransmitter release by reducing calcium ion currents and increasing potassium ion conductance. Plays a role in the perception of pain and in opiate-mediated analgesia. Plays a role in developing analgesic tolerance to morphine.