Is there a difference between opiates and opioids? Of course, the answer is yes. But what really is the difference between these two similar-sounding substances?
There are a couple of ways to answer this question. If you live in the Midwest, a quality opiate addiction rehab center in northern IL can be a great resource for answering your questions. But for now, this blog will examine some similarities and differences in today’s study: “Opiates vs. Opioids.”
Opiates vs. Opioids: Definition
So, what exactly is the difference between opiates and opioids?
An opiate is defined as a natural substance derived from the opium poppy plant. These derivatives can take several different forms.
An opioid describes any substance, either natural or synthetic, that attaches to the brain’s opioid receptors.
So, while all opiates are also opioids, not all opioids are opiates. Both categories, however, have two things in common. Both opiates and opioids are extremely addictive.
Several different opiates can be derived naturally from the flowering poppy plant:
Small amounts of certain opiates are in medical practice but, for the most part, opiates are unsafe for use.
Synthetic opioids main uses are for moderate to severe pain relief and may include the following drugs:
- Oxycodone (OxyContin)
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
Commonly prescribed opioid derivatives (OxyContin, Vicodin, etc.) mimic the pain-masking abilities of natural opiates. While opioids are common, avoid long term use.
Opiates have been in use since 3,400 BC in ancient Mesopotamia. The Greeks and Egyptians also employed opiates as sleep aids and pain relievers. Opium use spread through China and on to Great Britain and America. After morphine was developed as an effective pain killer, this opiate derivative is said to have addicted 400,000 American soldiers during the Civil War.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that nearly 36 million people abuse opiates worldwide.
While opiates have been in use for centuries, opioid use is a comparatively recent development. The first wave of opioid related deaths occurred in the early 1990s. At this point in time, doctors began to push pain relief more aggressively. While opioids earliest primary usage was the treatment of cancer patients, many other lesser conditions began to commonly use opioids.
Increase in opioid usage and addiction created large waves of fatalities in 2010 due to heroin abuse and then fentanyl abuse in 2013. Shockingly, there were 20,000 fentanyl casualties in 2016.
The opioid epidemic continues to be an issue to this day. While more caution is being exercised in the medical field due to the CDC’s recent guidelines discouraging opioid prescription, there is still much work to do.
Opiates vs. Opioids: Treatment
Now that we have discussed the difference between opiates and opioids, the only aspect left to consider is treatment. As both opiates and opioids stem from the same drug roots, the treatment of both conditions is the same.
Best success is achieved by discontinuation, detoxification, medicinal treatment, and counseling/therapy. Behavioral intervention alone has not proven very successful in overcoming either opiate or opioid addiction.
By enrolling in a quality drug rehab program you can get the addiction support you need. If you are in search of an opiate addiction rehab center in northern IL, Northern Illinois Recovery Center is fully equipped to meet your physical and mental health needs.
There is no need to commute into busy Chicago. At Northern Illinois Recovery Center, you will receive medical help and access to various support programs including the following:
- Partial hospitalization programs
- Extensive outpatient programs
- Family therapy
- Individual therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
A professional support program can make all the difference in the struggle to conquer opiate and opioid addiction. Take your first step towards clean living by calling us today at 855.786.1978.