The terms opiate and opioid are often interchangeable. However, there are some differences between the two words. Understanding the difference between opiate vs opioid is important, particularly when you are considering the effects of these substances. Additionally, it is good to understand what each term means if you are struggling with addiction. When you understand the difference, you can begin to seek out addiction therapy services.
Understanding Opiate vs Opioid
If you want to understand opiate vs opioid, you need to learn about their definitions and how they work. Opiates refer to natural substances that come from opium, which comes from the poppy plant. Codeine and morphine, for example, are substances extracted from opium as well. On the other hand, the term opioid originally referred to synthetic or semi-synthetic substances that work in the same ways as natural opiates. Synthetic opioids are entirely chemically made while the semi-synthetic ones are the result of chemical changes made to opiates. However, the word most commonly currently used is opioid to refer to both natural and synthetic substances. Doctors, for example, tend to use the term opioid.
Opiates and opioids work similarly. They both attach to opioid receptors in your central nervous system and your gastrointestinal tract. Once there, they send signals to the brain blocking pain, slowing down breathing and causing a calming sensation. Doctors often prescribe opioids to treat chronic pain. However, some are not legal and are highly addictive. Some opioids include morphine, methadone, and oxycodone. Heroin is another type of opioid. While you produce opioids naturally in your body, you cannot make enough to ease chronic pain. However, this also means you cannot make enough to cause an overdose.
Effects of Opiates and Opioids
You might also wonder what effects the use of opiate vs opioid can have on your body. At lower doses, opioids and opiates can cause you to feel intense joy and a feeling of accomplishment. However, as highly addictive substances, you might find yourself quickly needing higher doses more often. These higher doses do cause more dangerous effects including:
- Mental fog
- Very slow breathing
As the side effects of using opioids get stronger, the risk for overdose increases as well. Signs that you are overdosing on opioids include a limp body, pale skin, vomiting, purple fingernails and difficulty waking up. If you are struggling with abusing opioids, it might be time to find help at an opioid addiction treatment center.
Treating an Opioid Addiction
Understanding how opiate vs opioid work, can help you understand the type of addiction treatment you will receive. At Gateway Foundation Caseyville, we offer individualized opioid addiction treatment, focused on meeting your specific needs. Our treatment includes a range of evidence-based services and holistic therapies that we use to heal your body, mind, and soul. Our substance abuse treatment programs include:
- Certified Dual Diagnosis Enhanced Treatment
- Trauma Therapy
- Commitment Therapy
- Motivational Interviewing
- 12-Step Integration
Understanding the difference between opiate vs opioid can be the beginning of your recovery journey. If you are ready to start the journey, call us today at 618.345.3970.