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What’s the Difference Between Opioids and Opiates?

opioids vs opiates

03 Aug What’s the Difference Between Opioids and Opiates?

Opioids vs Opiates

Opioid and opiate are used interchangeably to refer to a class of drugs. Originally, these drugs were split up between two groups: opioids and opiates. When it comes to opioids vs opiates this is what you need to know, opiates were made naturally by the opium poppy plant, opioids were manufactured synthetically by scientists.

However, this is where most of the differences end. Opiates and opioids work in the same way, which has led people to group them together under the ‘opioid’ label.

These drugs are depressants commonly used as pain medication. Morphine, codeine, and hydrocodone, and fentanyl are all examples of these drugs. There are also illicit forms of opioids, the most common being heroin.

These drugs relieve pain by targeting transmitters in the brain known as opioid receptors. They bind to these receptors, reducing the number of pain signals and increasing dopamine production. While they are frequently given to people experiencing pain, they can quickly become dangerous under certain conditions.

Overdose, opioid addiction, and tolerance are all risks to consider when taking these medications.

Tolerance occurs when a person uses the drug too often, thus building a tolerance to their effects. Their body learns to process the chemicals faster and more efficiently, which dulls the effect of the drug. This means they have to take more to achieve the same high they experienced the first time they took them. The same phenomenon occurs while taking any addictive substance, including alcohol.

Because tolerance dampens their experience, the person might dangerously increase the number of opioids they’re taking. This can lead to overdose. Once they have taken the drug often enough, their body will grow to depend on it. The drug changes the way the mind releases dopamine, and now the pleasure and comfort centers rely on the substance.

Users will experience withdrawal if they do not have the drug, which can be uncomfortable, even painful. If the user manages to cope with these discomforts and continue with their daily lives, part of their thinking will most likely start to focus on how they can get more. This secondary motivation can affect their lives in negative ways, impacting their careers, relationships, and reputations. This is where the drug addiction can start.

Opiate addiction requires a specific recovery process. This usually involves drug rehabilitation, where the user detoxifies and is given therapy/ counseling. Opioid addiction recovery is best handled by professionals with medical and psychology training. These people will support the user’s recovery, offer valuable coping skills, and care for the addict in safe and healthy ways.

If you know someone who might need opiate addiction recovery, speak to them about the problem. Be understanding and try to encourage them to seek help. Oftentimes, the addicted person might not understand their addiction or have personal reasons for seeking out the relief of drugs.

Once you’ve convinced them to get help for their opioid addiction, contact a reputable rehabilitation center. A trained medical staff and psychiatrists will help the addict get the care and counseling they need to achieve sobriety.

If you think you might be suffering from an addiction, consider helping yourself. Addiction can control almost every aspect of your life and can quickly ruin dreams and aspirations. Choose recovery and begin moving towards sobriety.

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