What’s the Difference Between Opioids and Opiates?
Opioids vs. Opiates
The terms opioids and opiates are often used interchangeably, but important distinctions can help determine the difference between opioids and opiates. In practical terms, the effects of these two types of drugs are much the same, but understanding how they differ can be vital if you or someone you care about has been battling addiction.
The term opiate was typically used to refer to drugs derived from the opium poppy, including naturally occurring substances like morphine and codeine. The opioid term is broader, covering not only naturally occurring substances but synthetic drugs as well.
No matter what they are called or why they were initially used, opiates and opioids share the same potential for addiction. If you are concerned about someone you care about using these types of drugs, it is important to know the difference between opioids and opiates so you can find the right drug addiction treatment.
What Are Opioids?
If you have been struggling with chronic pain or experiencing discomfort following an operation or serious dental procedure, your doctor may have prescribed opioids. These drugs are part of a large class of prescription medications, all renowned for their painkilling qualities, and when used appropriately, they can be pretty effective.
Unfortunately, opioids can also be dangerously addictive, especially when used to excess or not taken under the guidance of a doctor pain specialist. If you have been prescribed opioids, it is essential to oversee your use and talk to your doctor if you suspect a dependency may be developing.
Opioids are a class of medication designed to have morphine-like effects. This means that opioids are typically quite good at controlling pain, even severe pain, but it also means that they carry a high risk of addiction.
The addictive potential of opioids depends on several factors, including the dosage, duration of use, and user characteristics. But no matter who you are or why you are taking opioids, it is crucial to monitor your use carefully and watch for the early warning signs of addiction.
What Are Opiates?
The dictionary defines opiates as substances derived from the opium poppy, and these drugs have often at various times to treat everything from chronic headaches to intense back pain. Over time, however, the addictive nature of these drugs became apparent, and doctors began to more carefully monitor their use.
Some examples of opiates used in modern medicine include drugs like morphine and codeine. Heroin is an example of an illegal opiate, one whose use has exploded in recent years. No matter what name they go by, opiates contain naturally occurring alkaloids found in the opium poppy.
Opioid and Opiate Addiction Symptoms
Opioids and opiates are potent drugs and just as powerfully addictive. It does not take long for a dependency to develop when taking these drugs, and the tolerance that builds up can make their use all the more dangerous. If someone you care about has been using these drugs, or if you suspect they have, you need to watch out for these warning signs of opiate addiction.
- Dilation of the pupils
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
Opioid and Opiate Addiction Treatment
No matter what name they go by, the difference between opioids and opiates, or whether they are legally prescribed or purchased illegally on the street, opiates and opioids are extremely dangerous when misused.
The results of misuse can include accidental overdose, trouble breathing, and other life-threatening conditions. If someone you care about has been using synthetic opioids or naturally occurring opiates, it is vital to get them help as soon as possible. And if you are the one suffering, you need to reach out for assistance and guidance as quickly as possible, and all it takes is a single phone call.
When you make that call to Resurgence, we can put you on the path to recovery. We will provide you the tools you need to overcome your pain conditions and deal with your anxiety or address your other underlying health issues, all without potentially using addictive opioids or opiates. If you are ready to get help, our staff is here to help, and we encourage you to give us a call today at (855) 458-0050.