Opioids vs. Opiates

Opioids vs. Opiates

In recent decades, opioids and opiates have become a significant problem in the United States. The abuse of these drugs has led to a rise in overdose deaths and has become an important public health concern. Though they are often used interchangeably, opioids and opiates are two different types of drugs. That’s why it’s critical to understand the distinctions between opioids and opiates and their risks. Addiction to opioids or opiates affects all ages, genders, and races.

In 2016, opioids were involved in 42,249 deaths in the United States—an average of 115 deaths per day. Opioid and opiate addiction has become a problem that many people face. If you or someone you know is dealing with drug addiction, pursuing professional medical assistance is crucial to that person’s well-being. Alter Health Group’s team of medical professionals and experts is available to work with you on your recovery. Learn more about Alter Health Group’s drug addiction treatment in California by calling our team at 866-698-6472

Understanding the Difference Between Opioids vs. Opiates

Opioids are a drug that can include both prescription and illegal drugs and are created by modifying the structure of opium—a naturally occurring substance in the poppy plant. Opioids work by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, which results in a decrease in the perception of pain. Opioids can be very effective at treating pain, but they also have a high risk for abuse and addiction. Examples of opioids include:

  • Oxycodone (OxyContin)
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • Morphine
  • Codeine
  • Heroin

Opiates include only natural and synthetic drugs. Opiates treat pain and diarrhea. The main difference between opiates and opioids is that opioids are manufactured, while opiates are natural. Examples of opiates include:

  • Morphine
  • Codeine
  • Heroin

Because heroin can be processed differently, it can be classified as an opioid or opiate.

Opioids and opiates are both drugs that treat pain, but they come with different risks. Opioids are more likely to result in abuse and addiction because they are more potent than opiates. Opioids also have a higher risk for overdose because they can slow down breathing. Alter Health Group offers diverse treatment options for those struggling with addiction. Our team of experts will work with you to create a customized treatment plan that meets your unique needs.

Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse

Unfortunately, prescription drug abuse has become all too common. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that 48 million people have abused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime. People who use opioids or opiates may exhibit some of the following symptoms:

  • Increased tolerance to the drug
  • Withdrawal symptoms when not taking the drug
  • Taking more of the drug than prescribed
  • Uncontrollable cravings for the drug
  • Engaging in risky behaviors to get the drug
  • Continuing to abuse opioids or opiates despite negative consequences

If you or someone you know is exhibiting these symptoms, it’s important to seek professional help. Opioid and opiate addiction can be complicated to overcome, especially without professional assistance. Our team is here to help you through every step of the recovery process. We offer various treatments and programs, including detoxification, medication-assisted treatment, and behavioral therapy.

Discovering Drug Addiction Treatment at Alter Health Group

Admitting you or a loved one has a drug addiction is difficult, but it’s the first step to getting the support you need. At Alter Health Group, our team of medical professionals and addiction experts are here to help you on your journey to recovery. We are committed to helping you overcome addiction and live a happy, healthy life. To learn more about our other programs and treatment options in California, call our team today to get the help you deserve.

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