Difference Between Opiate and Opioid

The name of the types of pain relievers referred to as opiates and opioids are often used interchangeably. These drugs relieve moderate to severe pain. Both opioids and opiates potentially lead to addiction. The compassionate addiction treatment specialists at the Right Step understand how addiction affects you.

Do you have a substance use disorder caused by opiates of opioids? Do you know the difference between opiate and opioid drugs? You are not alone if you do not know the difference, or how either drug affects an individual. The Right Step professionals help you discover a new way of living your life, without the potentially harmful consequences of opiates and opioids.

What is the Difference between Opiate and Opioid Drugs?

Discussing the difference between opiate and opioid drugs first requires discussing what each drug is used for and its origin. This likely helps with an understanding of these drugs. The American Council on Science and Health explains that an opioid is any drug that has the ability to act on the opioid receptors of the brain. Opioid drugs include all those drugs that act on the opioid receptors. Most sources state that opioid drugs are synthetic drugs, while other sources indicate that they can potentially occur naturally, are synthetic, or semi-synthetic substances.

Opiate drugs, on the other hand, are considered a ‘subset’ of opioids and are naturally derived from the poppy plant. Professionals typically used the term ‘opiates’ to describe both opiates and opioids for many years. That term is now considerate obsolete by many sources, with ‘opioid’ being the commonly-used term to describe both opiates and opioids.

So what is the difference between the medications? One distinction occurs with the drugs that are considered opiates vs the drugs that are considered opioids. Some examples of opiates include:

  • Morphine
  • Opium
  • Codeine

Some examples of opioids include:

  • Hydrocodone or Vicodin
  • Oxycodone or Oxycontin
  • Fentanyl
  • Heroin
  • Some other prescription pain relievers

There are subtle distinctions that help explain the difference between opiate and opioid drugs, which the caring staff at the Right Step helps you to understand when you enter your treatment program. While the opiates drugs are derived from, or contain opium, for the purpose of relieving pain, or for inducing sleep, there are differences between these drugs and opioids. Opioids, on the other hand, possess some of the properties of opiates, but yet, they are not derived from opium.

The Right Step

There is comprehensive treatment available for you or your loved one that is in need of treatment. Some people have an addiction to more than one drug, including drugs that are in both categories. You may not know the difference between prescription medications or street drugs, but you potentially know the risks of addiction. When you enter into treatment at the Right Step, you receive a thorough examination and an assessment that helps determine your treatment needs.

Some people undergo detox before starting their individualized treatment program. Once you complete detox, we guide you through the treatment process. This helps you to learn to live a new lifestyle, without the substance use disorder.

Start your recovery today, and learn how to regain control over your life. Learn how to live drug-free. Contact us today at 17135283709, and start your road to recovery.

Scroll to Top