What’s the difference between opiate and opioid drugs? Are they significantly different, despite their similar names? Once you know more about opiates and opioids, you may better understand their abuse potential. You might also recognize signs of abuse and dependency, in yourself or a loved one. When you recognize these signs, you need to seek out addiction treatment programs for help.
Is There a Difference Between Opiate and Opioid?
Many people use the terms “opiate” and “opioid” interchangeably. Most of the time, this is perfectly acceptable. Both types of drugs produce similar effects. The main difference between opiate and opioid drugs is their chemical makeup.
Opiates are a natural derivation of the poppy plant. Heroin and morphine are opiates. On the other hand, opioids can be natural or human-made. Many of them fall into the prescription pain reliever category, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl.
A similarity that both share is that people can abuse them and they have serious addiction potential. Just because opiates are natural versions doesn’t mean they’re harmless.
The reason doctors continue to prescribe opioid medications despite the risk is that they’re effective pain relievers. When used short term, they help many people manage painful conditions. The longer they use, however, the higher the chances for abuse to occur.
Opiate or Opioid Addiction Both Pose Dangers
The difference between opiate and opioid drugs has little impact on how dangerous addiction to either can be. Although many people are familiar with the destruction that heroin can cause, they might believe that prescription drugs are safe. But people become hooked on painkillers every day.
They gradually become dependent on the mild euphoric feelings their medication produces. Sometimes, they crush pills and snort them to experience a quicker high. Or, they may abuse other substances at the same time, such as alcohol.
To make matters worse, when doctors refuse to renew prescriptions for their patients, users resort to other measures like “doctor shopping,” or going to new doctors to get their prescription. Others turn to illicit drugs like heroin which may be cheaper and easier for them to find.
Without help from an opioid addiction treatment center, they run the risk of falling further into addiction and even overdosing.
Take a Step Toward Recovery
Gateway Foundation Carbondale is a nonprofit addiction treatment center serving the Chicagoland area. We offer a range of effective substance abuse treatment programs. In over five decades of treating men and women, we’ve helped over a million patients. We use a combination of evidence-based therapies and a holistic approach in order to address the physical, emotional and mental needs of our patients.
Our services include:
- Residential Treatment
- Outpatient Treatment
- Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
- Trauma Therapy
- Certified Dual Diagnosis Enhanced Treatment
In terms of addiction, there’s little difference between opiate and opioid abuse. The time to get help is now. Call the skilled team at Carbondale, and we’ll guide you toward a life of sobriety. Contact us at 618.529.1151 to find out more.