Home Rehabilitation Opioid vs. Opiate: How Are They Totally different?

Opioid vs. Opiate: How Are They Totally different?

Opioid vs. Opiate: How Are They Totally different?


Close Up Shot Of Opium Poppy Plants

Opioids and opiates are exceedingly addictive substances that may all too simply result in Opioid Use Dysfunction (OUD), a continual although treatable medical situation that impacts an estimated 2.7 million folks—and that’s simply in america alone.1

Whereas opioids and opiates have related results on the mind and physique and are sometimes utilized in conversations interchangeably, there are necessary distinctions between the 2. 

Whether or not you or somebody near you has made the essential, life-changing choice to handle your use of opioids or opiates, realizing how they examine might assist inform your (or your beloved’s) course of therapy.

Learn on as we unpack the opioid vs. opiate query and clarify how, and when to hunt opioid therapy.

What’s an Opiate?

Opiates are a category of narcotics which might be derived from the opium, or poppy, plant2—a flowering shrub native to Turkey that was used for medicinal and cultural functions for hundreds of years.3 

The naturally occurring alkaloids inside this plant function as depressants on the central nervous system (CNS) and stimulate the physique’s opioid receptors, which have an amazing affect on sensations of ache and euphoria.4 Analysis reveals that the results of opiates mimic endorphins, which you’ll know because the hormones which might be organically produced by means of actions equivalent to train.

Kinds of Opiates

Princeton College studies that greater than 50 alkaloids have been recognized within the poppy plant.5Of these, 25 have pain-relieving results on the human physique. A few of the most well-known kinds of opiates embrace:

  • Codeine
  • Oripavine
  • Thebaine
  • Morphine

Most Addictive Opiates

Because of the soothing, euphoria-inducing, and pain-relieving properties of opiates, all of them might result in an habit.

That stated, essentially the most addictive opiates are typically considered:

  • Morphine – Like different opiates, morphine is characterised by the results it has on the central nervous system. As one of many 5 main alkaloids produced by the opium plant, it impacts dopamine—a key neurotransmitter that performs a component in eliciting emotions of enjoyment.6 Morphine belongs to a cluster of medicine deemed narcotic analgesics, and it’s primarily prescribed for the therapy of extreme continual (or enduring) and acute (or momentary) ache.7
  • Codeine – Codeine might bring to mind journeys to the dentist as a result of its chief goal, when prescribed, is to assist sufferers handle average to intense ache (though it’s additionally used to deal with extreme coughing, stressed leg syndrome, and diarrhea).8 It, too, is likely one of the chief alkaloids within the opium plant and could be extraordinarily habit-forming, which can result in psychological and bodily dependence. 
  • Opium – Opium creates opiates equivalent to morphine and codeine, but it surely additionally exists in a category of its personal. Derived from the opium plant’s milky substance (or latex), it promotes emotions of psychological rest and elation whereas additionally muffling ache.9 As soon as used broadly in patent (and authorized) medicines, it fell out of favor within the twentieth century as stronger pain-relieving medicine have been launched (legally and illegally) to the market.

The hazard of opiates is that this: An overdose of opiates (or opioids) can suppress respiratory and coronary heart price and should finally lead to loss of life. That’s why when discussing opioid vs. opiates, it’s necessary to acknowledge that each are equally harmful.

What’s an Opioid?

The time period “opioids” is basically an umbrella time period for medicine that, like opiates, activate opioid receptors, mitigate ache, and stimulate emotions of euphoria.10 Nevertheless, opioids are both partially or utterly artificial—that means, they’re made in a laboratory. So when contemplating opioid vs opiate, assume synthetically derived vs naturally derived.

Kinds of Opioids

Opioids run the gamut from hazardous, extraordinarily addictive avenue and designer medicine to prescription ache medicines. 

Though absolutely artificial and semi-synthetic opioids are crafted to resemble the naturally-derived buildings of opiate alkaloids, they typically include dangerously elevated potencies. Fentanyl, for instance, is 50 occasions stronger than heroin and an astonishing 100 occasions extra highly effective than morphine.11 To emphasise simply how addictive and harmful fentanyl and different opioids could be, keep in mind that 150 folks die per day in america from an opioid overdose.

Along with fentanyl, the most typical kinds of opioids embrace:

  • Heroin
  • Demerol
  • Oxycodone (Oxycontin) 
  • Percocet
  • Oxymorphone
  • Hydromorphone
  • Hydrocodone

Most Addictive Opioids

The inherent addictive nature of opioids leaves a person vulnerable to growing a tolerance and dependence on them. That stated, in protected, managed settings and when used precisely as prescribed, opioids will also be a tremendously priceless type of ache administration—as an illustration with superior phases of most cancers, or after a traumatic automobile accident.12

However that is the place it will get a bit blurry, tough, and, sadly, political.

In 2017, docs throughout the nation submitted greater than 191 million opioid prescriptions, with notable fluctuations between the states. People in Alabama have been prescribed essentially the most opioids. Residents of Hawaii—the costliest state within the nation—had the fewest prescriptions.13 On the identical time, 75% of US residents with OUD assert that their habit started with prescription opioids.14

Merely put, opioid prescriptions and opioid addictions are extra prevalent in poorer, extra rural areas. 

The CDC studies that each one opioids are addictive—and that anybody could be hooked on them, regardless of their age, gender, earnings ranges, and the state wherein they reside. Probably the most addictive opioids, each authorized and unlawful, embrace:

  • Methadone
  • Vicodin
  • Oxycontin
  • Heroin
  • Fentanyl

So whereas the variations between opioid vs. opiate are encoded of their formation, their dangers and risks are equal.

What’s the Distinction Between Opioid vs Opiate?

Nonetheless confused on the opiate vs opioid query? That’s comprehensible—there are enormous overlaps between the 2. The best solution to acknowledge and bear in mind the excellence between them is that this:

  • Opiates are derived from the opium plant
  • Opioids could be pure, however are typically artificial, man-made narcotics

An important factor to recollect is that misusing one or the opposite or each can result in grave and doubtlessly deadly penalties, significantly if these narcotics are paired with different medicine or alcohol.

How Are Opioids and Opiates Related?

Opioids and opiates are related within the methods described above: They each have an effect on the central nervous system and opioid receptors. In flip, they diminish continual ache and immediate emotions of rest and euphoria. 

It’s exactly these dramatic results that spur an habit. To phrase it in another way, whether or not it’s an opiate vs opioid, they each have an effect on the reward system of the mind. The mind then turns into reliant on these medicine to really feel effectively and to forestall withdrawals from occurring. 

The most typical indicators of opioid habit embrace:15

  • A rising incapability to manage use
  • Intense cravings 
  • Growing tolerance and dependence, each bodily and mentally
  • Continuous use of the drug regardless of the presence of economic, interpersonal, skilled, and well being penalties
  • The presence of withdrawal signs when consumption ceases or is considerably reduce, equivalent to anxiousness, stomach ache, insomnia, bone and muscle aches, irritability, runny nostril, fever, nausea, and vomiting16

Fortuitously, assist for habit is abundantly accessible—extra on this under.

Threat Components

Some folks could also be at a larger danger for habit than others. These might embrace people who’ve:

  • Accessibility to opiates and opioids (e.g., by means of a physician who continues to fill their prescription)
  • A preexisting or previous substance abuse dysfunction, equivalent to alcoholism
  • Publicity to opioids and opiates, like a member of the family who makes use of one or each of them
  • An untreated co-occurring psychological well being situation like melancholy, anxiousness, bipolar dysfunction, or post-traumatic stress dysfunction (PTSD)
  • A historical past of childhood sexual abuse or authorized points17
  • Age, with those that are youthful having the next susceptibility to habit
  • An atmosphere wherein opiate and opioid use has been normalized
  • Miscommunications between a healthcare practitioner and the affected person

Fortunately, holistic rehab facilities, equivalent to Elevate Habit Companies, deal with not simply opioid use dysfunction but additionally the underlying causes that will have contributed to the habit. 

Methods to Get Assist

Whether or not it’s your companion, shut buddy, sibling, father or mother, or different beloved one you’re involved about otherwise you acknowledge the indicators of habit in your self, please know that assistance is only a cellphone name away. Inpatient and outpatient therapy facilities will help you or the particular person you care about fight this habit by means of a mix of:

  • Pharmacological help, equivalent to using suboxone or methadone
  • Behavioral remedy
  • Group and particular person counseling
  • Schooling on coping methods and life-style modifications to beat cravings and stop a relapse
  • The therapy of any underlying psychological or bodily situations

The sooner you attain out, the earlier you’ll be able to return to your self.

Uncover Lasting Reduction from OUD with Elevated Rehab

For a lot of, opioids and opiates could seem synonymous, however the former is absolutely or semi-manufactured, whereas the latter is extracted naturally. However don’t let the phrase “naturally” deceive you: Each could be damaging to your well being and well-being. There’s, in the long run, no opiate vs opioid debate in any respect, only a must pursue restoration if abuse, misuse, or habit has ensued.

Elevate Rehab’s world-class opioid therapy packages will help you restore your sense of self and begin your opioid detox. With places in lovely Santa Barbara and the ever-glorious Lake Tahoe, we offer compassionate care and experience that can assist you discover—and maintain—sobriety by means of a mixture of conventional and different therapies, together with yoga, meditation, and physique rejuvenation remedy.

Attain out to us in the present day. We’d be glad to assist—and delighted to see you reclaim your wellness.


  1. CDC. Opioid use dysfunction.euph https://www.cdc.gov/dotw/opioid-use-disorder/index.html
  2. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Opiate and opioid withdrawal.  https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000949.htm
  3. Britannica. Poppy / Description, main species, makes use of & info. https://www.britannica.com/plant/poppy
  4. CDC. The opioid epidemic: what labs need to do with it? https://www.cdc.gov/cliac/docs/fall-2018/10_King_Opioid_Crisis.pdf
  5. Opiate.com. A listing of opiates. https://www.opiate.com/opiates/a-list-of-opiates/
  6. ResearchGate. Opium alkaloids. https://www.researchgate.internet/publication/339805388_Opium_Alkaloids
  7. Mayo Clinic. Morphine (oral route) description and model names. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/morphine-oral-route/description/drg-20074216
  8. Nationwide Library of Medication. Codeine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526029/
  9. Alcohol and Drug Basis. Opium. https://adf.org.au/drug-facts/opium/
  10. Journal of Ache & Palliative Care Pharmacology. Adversarial results of opioids on the central nervous system of palliative care sufferers.  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17430825/
  11. CDC. Fentanyl info. https://www.cdc.gov/stopoverdose/fentanyl/index.html
  12. CDC. Prescription opioids. https://www.cdc.gov/opioids/fundamentals/prescribed.html
  13. CNBC. These are America’s 10 costliest states to dwell in. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/15/these-are-americas-most-expensive-states-to-live-in.html
  14. John Hopkins Medication. Opioids. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/well being/treatment-tests-and-therapies/opioids
  15. Yale Medication. Opioid use dysfunction–reality sheet. https://www.yalemedicine.org/situations/opioid-use-disorder
  16. Nationwide Library of Medication. Opioid withdrawal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526012/
  17. Anesthesia & Analgesia. Threat elements for opioid-use dysfunction and overdose. https://journals.lww.com/anesthesia-analgesia/Fulltext/2017/11000/Risk_Factors_for_Opioid_Use_Disorder_and_Overdose.41.aspx



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