What are the differences between opioids vs opiates? Essentially opioids are a form of opiates with few variations between each substance. However, there are some differences in opioids vs opiates. Knowing the difference may deter someone from using a specific drug if they know what ingredients are in the substance or how it is made.
Opioids and opiates are derived from the same source, a poppy plant that originates in South America. Both substances can be used for both medicinal and recreational use. As such, both substances are addictive, requiring opioid addiction treatment at a facility such as Colorado Medication Assisted Recovery. If you need treatment for an opioid addiction, contact our opioid treatment center today.
What Are Opiates?
Opiates are a type of drug that originates in South America. The drug is sourced and used for its medicinal benefits. However, opiates are also developed and sold recreationally. There is a wide range of opiates on the market today. When taken as prescribed or intended they can reduce stress or anxiety and cause the user to feel relaxed.
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.
Common opiates may include:
Derivatives of opiates may include Hydrocodone (Vicodin), Oxycodone (Percocet), or long-acting Oxycodone (Oxycontin)
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:
- Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
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: Which is Heroin?
There seems to be a lot of confusion about whether heroin is an opiate or an opioid. From a medical standpoint, heroin is a synthetic opioid because it is derived from a combination of natural and artificial substances. However, on the street, both dealers and users may view heroin as synthetic, natural, or semi-synthetic due to their compounds.
What is important to understand is that heroin is highly addictive and highly dangerous. Developers often add substances to heroin to give it more impact. These substances can increase the possibility of side effects that lead to health problems or fatality. In addition, a person can become addicted to heroin after a single use.
Learn More About Opiate Addiction 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. Whether you are addicted to heroin or prescription medication, we can help you get clean and stay clean. Contact Colorado Medication Assisted Recovery at 833.448.0127 to find out more about your addiction treatment options and how to get started today.