Opiates and Opioids: Are they the same?
- What are Opiates and Opioids?
- What’s the Difference between the Two?
- What are Narcotics?
- Why are They Addictive?
As human beings, it is our nature to try and avoid suffering. This is the reason why we seek medical treatment whenever we are in pain. At the same time, it is human nature to desire the things that give us pleasure.
The fact that prescription painkillers can fulfill both of those human needs is what makes these substances very addictive. Our very nature tells us that we want to have more painkillers.
Of course, this doesn’t mean we should abuse these substances simply because they make us feel good. Addiction can ruin a person’s life. It can cause all kinds of problems for them as well as the people around them.
And so it is important to discuss the nature of addiction and the drugs that cause them. On this article we will be focusing on opiates and opioids: prescription painkillers that are widely abused all over the world because of their euphoric benefits.
Given that these substances are legal (and even beneficial) when used correctly, we need to talk about why a user should never misuse their prescription. We’ll do this by looking deeper at what opiates and opioids are, and what they do.
What are Opiates and Opioids?
Opiates and opioids are substances that are often prescribed to help treat pain ranging from moderate to severe. They serve as stronger pain medication for conditions that can’t be fixed by over-the-counter pain relievers.
Often this includes cancer pain, post-surgical pain, and traumatic pain. Despite these benefits, opiates and opioids are quite habit-forming, and should not be taken in higher doses.
id=”whats_the_difference_between_the_two”What’s the Difference between the Two?
Opiates and opioids are so similar that the two terms are often used interchangeably. But in the medical industry, there are certain distinctions that set them apart.
Opiates are natural derivatives of the opium poppy plant. Opium is a strong pain relieving medication. Common examples of opiates are morphine, codeine, and the illegal drug heroin.
On the other hand, opioids are the synthetic and semi-synthetic pain medications derived from the same opium poppy source. They are manufactured to work in a similar way to opiates. Common examples are methadone, Vicodin, Percocet, Demerol, and Fentanyl.
Beyond these technical definitions, there aren’t a lot of things that make them so different. That’s why they are used interchangeably in common usage.
What are Narcotics?
Both opiates and opioids are also known as narcotics. It’s just another name for these substances.
However, it is interesting to note that the term “narcotics” has a different definition in law enforcement. In law enforcement, narcotics may refer to any kind of illegal drug. It doesn’t matter if the illegal drug is an opiate, or an opioid, or an entirely different substance altogether.
We should also note that some opiates are legal when taken as prescribed by a licensed physician.
Why are They Addictive?
Opiates and opioids relieve pain by attaching to our naturally occurring opioid receptors. They alter the way the brain perceives pain. This also produces a euphoric sensation that gets people hooked.
These drugs are addictive because they make you feel good. And illicit users take advantage of the fact that opiates and opioids are easily accessible via prescription.
Unfortunately, they are also putting themselves at risk of various health problems by abusing these painkillers. Taking high doses may lead to tolerance, dependence, addiction, and a lot of adverse effects.
The best thing to do if you’re addicted to narcotics is look for an addiction treatment center. After the initial assessment, a proper treatment plan can be made based on your specific needs. The rehab process can be done as an inpatient or outpatient program.
Look for a rehab facility near you today!
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