What are the differences between opioids vs. opiates? Essentially, both opioids and opiates are substances derived from the poppy plant. The difference lies in their chemical components: opioids have an additional synthetic compound that makes them more potent, while opiates are purer forms of the drug. Both substances are used to treat pain, but opiates tend to be less potent than opioid medications. Opioids are typically prescribed for more severe types of pain, such as chronic pain from cancer or other illnesses. As opioids can be highly addictive, it’s important to use them with caution and only when absolutely necessary. On the other hand, opiates are generally considered to be less risky in terms of addiction or dependency.
The addictive nature of opioids has been highlighted in recent years, as the opioid epidemic has become a major issue across the United States. While the hold of addiction can be difficult to break, there are treatments and resources available for those struggling with opioid dependence. For opioid or opiate addiction treatment in Colorado, call Colorado Medication Assisted Recovery at 833.448.0127 today.
What Are Opiates?
Opiates are drugs derived from the poppy plant. They include codeine, morphine, and heroin, all of which are used medicinally for pain relief. Opiates can be habit-forming, especially if used at high doses or taken over a long period of time. This is why many opiate addictions require professional treatment to help manage withdrawal symptoms and ensure that the person does not relapse.
More specifically, opiates bind to specific receptors in neurons throughout the brain. The receptors are typically responsible for creating energy in one form or another. A typical reaction from an opiate, however, can cause the brain and central nervous system to slow down. This creates a more relaxed feeling.
Side effects of opiates include constipation, nausea, vomiting, and drowsiness. Long-term use of opiates can lead to physical dependence, in which case withdrawal is necessary.
Common opiates include codeine and morphine.
What Are Opioids?
The main difference between opioids vs. opiates is that opioids are synthetic. In other words, pharmacists develop these substances artificially through a combination of opiates and other substances. Medical professionals often prescribe opioids to patients to relieve persistent or severe pain. A patient may also receive a temporary dose of opioids after major surgery.
Similar to opiates, opioids attach to proteins called opioid receptors. The opioid blocks the signal to or from the receptor. While the pain may continue, the brain doesn’t pick up on it. Therefore, the patient is relieved of the pain. Opioids are highly effective in reducing pain and making a patient feel better. However, they are also highly addictive due to the euphoric effects they produce in the brain.
Common opioids include:
When considering opioids vs. opiates, it’s important to remember that both substances can be potentially addictive and require caution when taking them. If you or someone you know is suffering from opioid addiction, reach
While both opiates and opioids are dangerous when abused, synthetic opioids can be even more dangerous because developers experiment with the combinations of opioids and other substances, and users often have no idea what ingredients are in the combinations. In worst-case scenarios, street dealers add highly dangerous substances to opioids, making them lethal enough to cause fatality in a single dosage.
Opioids vs. Opiates: How Can Treatment Help?
Addiction to opioids and opiates can be dangerous and, in some cases, fatal. Overdoses typically occur when those who use opioids or opiates increase their dosage in order to feel the same high they used to experience before tolerance developed. When this happens, the individual is at risk of taking too much and suffering a fatal overdose.
Treatment needs to meet people where they are on their journeys. One of the most effective approaches for opioid and opiate addiction treatment is medication-assisted treatment (MAT). MAT combines medications with counseling, behavioral therapies, lifestyle changes, and more. These medications help people reduce their cravings for these substances while stabilizing their mood and providing relief from withdrawal symptoms. Paired with counseling and therapy, these medications can help people break the cycle of addiction to opioids and opiates.
Learn More About Opiate Addiction Treatment at Colorado Medication Assisted Treatment Today
Opioids vs. opiates: do you know the difference? Learn more about opiate addiction at CMAR. We provide comprehensive treatment for opioid addiction with medication-assisted treatment. Heroin, OxyContin, Percocet, and more—at CMAR, we specialize in helping our patients break the cycle of addiction to opioids and opiates.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an opioid addiction, don’t wait. Call us today to learn more about our services and take the first step toward recovery. Don’t let addiction take control of your life: contact Colorado Medication Assisted Recovery at 833.448.0127 or connect with us online today. Our trained and experienced team is ready to help you get on the path towards a healthier, happier life.