In the medical industry, some people may use one term to refer to two different things. For example, opioids and opiates are drug terms that they often use interchangeably. Despite the similarities, there are differences between an opioid vs opiate.
The Differences Between an Opioid vs Opiate
The word “opioid” refers to a medication that is chemically similar to an opiate. The word “opiate” describes a drug that occurs naturally in the opium plant. While opioids include opiates, an opiate is not an opioid.
There are more than 20 opiates in the opium plant, but only six of them occur in large amounts. The medical industry uses four of these drugs. Codeine and morphine are two examples that doctors use to treat pain. Thebaine is another, but drug makers use it to make other prescription painkillers.
Within the opioid category are semi-synthetic and fully synthetic drugs. For instance, semi-synthetic opioids include hydrocodone and oxycodone, which come from thebaine. Another example is heroin, which comes from boiling acetic anhydride and morphine.
In addition, drug labs fully create some opioids to imitate the effects of their natural counterparts. Because of that, there’s nothing natural in these drugs. Fentanyl and methadone are the two that most people have heard of. Abusing any of these drugs can lead to addiction, which requires either opiate or opioid addiction treatment.
Similarities in the Opioid vs Opiate Debate
In general, the effects that opioids and opiates have on the brain are the same. They’re the reason why people need opioid or opiate addiction treatment.
Firstly, all opioids are narcotics that affect the central nervous system. They activate opiate receptors in the brain, which are neurotransmitters that also occur in the spinal cord. Which receptors that they activate depends on the opioid. For this reason, people may develop addiction faster when they abuse heroin than when they abuse hydrocodone.
When opioids bind to the receptors, the brain begins to release endorphins and other chemicals in response. The same happens when people exercise, feel stressed or do something that they enjoy. Continuously triggering this response with opioids changes the chemical balance in the brain.
Whether people take an opioid vs opiate, these drugs block the transmission of pain signals. They can produce a feeling of pleasure or reward too. However, opioids can also cause confusion, drowsiness, nausea, and trouble breathing. With abuse, people experience a sense of euphoria or high.
Discover Opioid vs Opiate Treatment Today
If you have an opioid or opiate addiction, treatment is available in Orange County, California. At Pillars Recovery, we use a triple diagnosis to treat chronic pain, substance use disorder, and mental illness. Our recovery center uses a range of services such as:
- Group and individual therapy
- Family therapy program
- Massage and acupuncture
- Recreational therapy
- Transitional living
Take the first step toward regaining control of your life from substance abuse. Learn more about an opioid vs opiate at our facility to better understand your condition. Contact 866-782-0247 to start your sober path today.