Difference Between Opioids and Opiates

The words opioids and opiates often get used interchangeably. And while the two words do sound similar, is there any difference between the two? After all, if you’re seeking out a prescription drug addiction treatment center in TX, you want to make sure you’re going to a location that specializes in what you’re struggling to rid yourself of. In many ways, opioids and opiates are very much the same. However, there are definite differences between the two. To fully understand the difference, it is necessary to dive in and consider opioids vs opiates.


First, before diving into opioids vs opiates and the differences, it is essential to consider the similarities. Both are painkillers that attach to pain receptors found throughout the body, including the spinal cord and the brain. By connecting to the pain receptors, it prevents the body from feeling pain. When the body feels pain, it sends a message to the brain, telling the body it is hurting. This message is designed to inform the body when it is taking damage and sustaining an injury, so then the body will do what it can to stop feeling the pain. Of course, after an injury or surgery, the body can’t stop what it is doing. By blocking the pain receptors and muting these pain signals, the body no longer feels the extent of the pain. In this way, both opioids and opiates do the same thing.

Difference Between Opioids and Opiates

Now, there is one significant difference between opioids and opiates. An opiate is derived from the poppy plant (the seed, specifically). Opium was the first opiate produced from the seed. Several painkillers are explicitly made from opium and the poppy plant, including morphine, which is one of the original painkillers (it was one of the primary drugs given to soldiers during the Second World War as a quick painkiller after being injured). Codeine is another natural painkiller explicitly made from opium.

On the flip side, an opioid is a painkiller that is at least partially synthetic. Some elements of the painkiller might still be produced from opium, but some elements use a chemical compound produced not using natural ingredients. Some forms of opioid-based painkillers include fentanyl, OxyContin, hydrocodone, and a number of other manufacturer brands.

If you or a loved one suffers from opioid or opiate addiction, start with the medical drug detox center in Texas.


Heroin is considered an opioid. While the drug is still commonly derived from opium and the poppy plant, there are common chemical elements synthesized within the drug that turns it from an opiate into an opioid. So, when considering the difference between opioids and opiates, it all comes down to whether it is 100% natural or there are synthetic elements within the drug.

Help Is Just A Phone Call Away

If you’re struggling with opioid or opiate addiction, know you are not alone. There are others just like you who want to move past their addiction but don’t know where to turn. At The Right Step, you have access to a team of loving professionals. Many of whom have been down the same path as you.

Aligning yourself with the right detox and rehab center will give you a leg up on besting your addiction and starting your new life. While there is a difference between opioids and opiates, the two drugs do affect your body in the same way. So regardless of opioids vs opiates addiction, contact The Right Step. With just a single phone call at 17135283709, email, or visit to the rehab center, you’ll be taking your first step into a brighter future.

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