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Opioids vs. Opiates: Unraveling the Difference

Opioids vs. Opiates: Unraveling the Difference

Opioids vs. Opiates

Whether you’re grappling with addiction yourself or are trying to find resources to help a loved one, understanding the difference between opioids and opiates can be crucial. This knowledge can be a powerful tool in your journey toward recovery. So, dive in and demystify these terms:

  • What Are Opiates?: Discover how plants are broken down to create drugs.
  • What Is an Opioid?: Learn more about the broad class of opioids.
  • Opioid vs. Opiate: Understand the subtle differences between these powerful classes of drugs.

What Are Opiates?

Opiates are naturally occurring substances derived directly from the opium poppy plant. They have been used for centuries for their potent pain-relieving and euphoric effects.

These compounds are typically used in prescription pain medications, but they can also be found in illegal substances like heroin. Opiates work by binding to specific receptors in the brain and spinal cord, which block pain signals and produce a sense of well-being.

What Is An Opioid?

The term “opioid” was originally used to describe synthetic or semi-synthetic drugs that mimic the effects of natural opiates. However, today the term is commonly used to refer to all drugs with opiate-like effects, including natural opiates. Examples of opioids include:

  • Heroin
  • Oxycodone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Fentanyl

There is no real difference in today’s usage of opioids vs. opiates. However, both classes of drugs are highly addictive.

Opiate vs Opioid: Understanding the Differences

While the terms “opiate” and “opioid” are often used interchangeably, there are some key differences to note:

  • Origin: Opiates are natural, derived from the opium poppy plant, while opioids can be either synthetic or semi-synthetic.
  • Scope: The term “opioid” is broader and includes all substances, natural or synthetic, that bind to opioid receptors in the brain.

Whether you’re struggling with addiction to a naturally derived opiate or a synthetic opioid, there are treatment options available to help you overcome your addiction and live a healthier life.

Start Recovering with Greater Boston Addiction Centers

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to opioids, Greater Boston Addiction Centers offers comprehensive treatment options to help you overcome your addiction and start on the path to recovery. Our team of experienced professionals provides personalized care and support to each individual, tailoring treatment plans to meet unique needs and goals. We offer a range of services including medication-assisted treatment, therapy, and support groups.

Call or contact us online now and get the help you need for a better future.

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