The terms “opiate” and “opioids” are frequently interchanged to refer to any pain-relieving medicine that binds to opioid receptors, be it of natural or chemical origin.
An opioid is a drug class of synthetic or semi-synthetic agents for medical contexts, whereas “opiate” applies to opium alkaloids or natural analogs.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, all medications that operate on opiate receptors are classified as opioids irrespective of how they’re synthesized.
Opioids will include illegal narcotic heroin, synthetic opioids like Fentanyl, and legally prescribed painkillers like oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, and many more.
Before things get much more complicated, let’s start with the most contentious comparison: “Opioid vs. Opiates.”
We’ll also go over how both medicines are utilized for therapy and point you in the direction of some expert aid for opioid addiction treatment, so keep reading!
How Do We Differentiate Between Opioids and Opiates?
What Exactly Are Opioids?
According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), we can put them under two categories:
Natural opioids are found in nature, derived from the poppy seed of specific plant species. These drugs reduce pain by acting on the body’s nerve receptors.
Synthetic opioids are drugs that operate on the same receptors in the body but are manufactured in a lab. Methadone and Fentanyl are popular synthetic opioids.
Therefore, the word “opioid” applies to both natural and synthetic versions of these molecules.
Then, What Are Opiates?
According to the CDC, “opiates” explicitly refer to natural opioids. Opiates are narcotic drugs that profoundly affect the nervous system, generating sensations of euphoria and relieving pain.
Among the most common medications in this category are:
Enkephalins and endorphins are opioid-like substances produced by our bodies. Endogenous opioids give a “natural high” that is not addictive.
Opioids are dangerously addictive due to their potent euphoric effects. One can instantly get dependent on opioids because of their high degree of tolerance.
This implies that when the brain adjusts its function to cope with levels of opioids in blood, eventually, greater dosages are required to get the intended effects.
After some time, there may be a transition in the brain’s structure and functionality, performing better when opioid is present in the bloodstream. As a result, withdrawal symptoms will occur when the medicine is stopped.
These symptoms may be agonizing, and withdrawal usually necessitates a medical detox treatment.
An overdose happens when breathing drops to the extent where there’s an insufficient supply of oxygen to the brain. Even if this is the first time the substance has been misused, there are chances of morphine and heroin overdose.
Even if this is the first time the substance has been misused, there are chances of an overdose, especially when it comes to heroin and morphine.
Codeine, an opiate, is frequently used with Tylenol for cough. However, combining codeine with Tylenol can be dangerous and result in addiction and overdoses, especially when combined with other narcotics.
Opiate abuse can be deadly because of insufficient oxygen to the brain for an extended period.
Drug Use Disorder and Prescription Drugs
Most of those hooked on opioids did so after their doctors gave them pain relievers. Whether the individual began misusing the medicine or raised daily doses as the tolerance rose, this resulted in a massive catastrophe that has been ongoing since the early 1990s.
Not everyone prescribed opioids get addicted to or misuse them, but studies show that this is a continuing epidemic worldwide that must be addressed.
Misusing opioids, whether prescribed or illicit, may have catastrophic consequences, causing abuse, addiction, and then death. If you or your loved one is in pain, there is help available.
How to Use Opioids Safely
As per the National Institute on Drug Abuse, opioid pain drugs are typically safe when taken for a short period or as prescribed by a doctor.
Opioids, on the other hand, can be abused because they provide psycho-active effects and euphoria.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), psychedelics are any chemical that a person consumes or ingests that might impact their mental states, such as sensation, intellect, memory, mood, or emotions.
As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 71,000 Americans died due to drug overdose in 2019. An opioid was implicated in over 70% of these fatalities.
Opioid Addiction Treatment in South Florida
If you or your loved one is struggling with opioids or any form of addiction, you are not alone.
You can reach out for help before it’s too late.
If you are looking for addiction treatment centers in South Florida, there can’t be a better option than The Sands Treatment Center.
To book an appointment or reach out for free consultation, dial (844) 200-2509.
You can also visit their website thesandstreatmentcenter.com for more info.Learn More