It is no wonder that there seems to be some confusion related to the use of the terms opioids and opiates, and the two terms are often used interchangeably. One important fact is that there are key differences between opioids and opiates. Another fact is that there are appropriate treatment programs for addiction issues related to both of these types of drugs. Professional addiction treatment, such as the opiate addiction treatment program offered by Rockland Recovery, focuses on treating clients with these particular issues. Knowing the differences between opioids and opiates likely helps clients understand the risks, the adverse impacts, and the need for treatment.
Opiates vs. Opioids
The terms for these two classes of drugs are often used interchangeably, even among some medical professionals, researchers, or others in the scientific fields that study drugs or the process of addiction. Some research indicates that there are subtle differences between opiates and opioids. These key differences between opiates vs. opioids lead to differences in the substance abuse treatment programs for addiction to these drugs. There are known facts that show the differences between opiates vs. opioids.
Some facts about opiates include:
- Many sources describe opiates as being natural opioids.
- Opiates come from naturally occurring opium alkaloid compounds that are found in poppy plants.
- Opiates are sometimes mistakenly thought of as being less harmful than opioid drugs.
- Opiate abuse is not new because some sources indicate that it first took place centuries ago.
- Opiates are central nervous system depressants.
Some facts about opioids include:
- Opioids refer to all synthetic, semi-synthetic, and natural opioids.
- Opioids include both prescription opioids and illegal drugs such as heroin.
- Opioids produce opiate-like psychological and physiological effects.
- Designer opioids mimic the effects of the original drug even though they are produced illicitly.
- Research shows that a large percentage of drug-related overdose deaths each year are related to opioids.
When you consider opiates vs. opioids, it is not true that one is safer than the other type of drug. Both have a high risk of a person experiencing dangerous side effects, overdose, or addiction. That is a reason that there is both an opiate addiction treatment program and an opioid addiction treatment program at Rockland Recovery.
The Similarities Between Opiates and Opioids
One fact to consider when thinking about opiates vs. opioids is that while there are differences, there are also similarities between these types of drugs.
One of the main similarities between prescription opiates and opioids is that they both likely result in pain relief when they are taken correctly. There are other similarities, including the fact that some sources refer to opiates as a subset of opioids. Another similarity is that both opioids and opiates may be obtained as prescription drugs. Both opiates and opioids are sometimes taken as drugs that are prescribed for someone else.
There are dangerous side effects of addiction to opiates and opioids. Some side effects include confusion, breathing difficulties, changes in the brain, impaired judgment, muscle or bone pain, coma, and death. Some people begin using other opiates or opioids or use more than one of the drugs together. Some people mix them with alcohol.
Learn More About Rockland Recovery’s Addiction Treatment Center Programs
You can take back control of your life and learn to live without the dangerous short-term and long-term effects of addiction to opiates or opioids. The professional team at Rockland Recovery can help you start on your road to recovery.