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The Difference Between Opiate and Opioid Drugs

a variety of pills and a syringe demonstrate the difference between opiate and opioid drugs

Many people use the terms opioid drugs and opiate drugs interchangeably. However, they aren’t always the same thing. Both are dangerous and addictive substances, but they have differences as well. Learn more about the difference between opiate and opioid drugs. Then, find out how to take the next step toward recovery and lifelong sobriety.

What Is the Difference Between Opiate and Opioid Drugs?

the difference between opiate and opioid drugsOpiates are the older of the two types of drugs. Opiates are drugs that are derived from natural sources. In fact, opiates come from poppies. This type of drug classification includes substances like opium, codeine, and morphine.

These substances might technically be derived from plants, but they are far from harmless. Opiates are a narcotic analgesic, and they can be deadly.

Opioids, on the other hand, are synthetic drugs. They are still narcotic analgesics, but they don’t come from poppies. Instead, scientists create some or all of the ingredients chemically in a lab. Opioids that are common in the United States include drugs like OxyContin, fentanyl, and hydrocodone.

Today, both opiates and opioids are called opioid substances. Using the word opioid can refer to either type of drug. However, using the word opiate refers only to those naturally-derived drugs.

The Side Effects of All Opioid Drugs

Whether an opioid drug is synthetic or natural, it can still have serious and even life-threatening side effects. If used under medical supervision and in the appropriate dose, some opioid drugs can reduce the feeling of pain. However, opioid drugs can also cause confusion, imbalance, and even respiratory problems.

Opioids are depressant drugs, the opposite of stimulants. They slowly shut down or slow down processes in the body. In small amounts, this can make people tired. However, in large amounts, it can also put users in a coma. Worst of all, using opioid drugs for any length of time can be a stepping stone toward a devastating addiction. Once this happens, only comprehensive addiction treatment services can help.

Identifying an Opioid Addiction

Once a person develops an addiction, the difference between opiate and opioid drugs is virtually nonexistent. The symptoms of both types of addictions are similar. Physical symptoms often include sleep problems, small pupils, and changes to appearance.

Behavioral symptoms are also telling. Someone addicted to opioid drugs might stop coming into work or stop attending family functions. They might seem anxious, depressed, or paranoid.

Overcoming Addiction at Red Rock Recovery Center

Whether a client struggles with opioid or opiate abuse, getting help is the right move. At Red Rock Recovery Center, clients can expect a homegrown Colorado feel that perfectly balances clinical support and holistic care. You can become part of a true community and prepare for a lifetime of sobriety. A few of the most effective addiction treatment services include:

The difference between opiate and opioid drugs is minimal. The reality is that both drugs are addictive, but it is possible to break free from that addiction. Call Red Rock Recovery Center in Lakewood, Colorado, at *DM_DirectNumber format=period* to learn more about programs that can help your recovery.