What is the Difference Between Opiate and Opioid Drugs?

Opiates and opioids — we’ve used and heard these terms used interchangeably, but are they the same? If not, what is the difference between opiate and opioid drugs? With all the many news reports about the opioid crisis, you may have wondered which drugs or medicines these were. It’s important to have an understanding of these two substances since they are both highly addictive.

What is the Difference Between Opiate and Opioid Drugs?

The difference between opiate and opioid drugs is very subtle. In fact, there are many similarities between the two. Both bind to the opioid receptors of the brain, producing euphoric effects. Opiates and opioids both are addictive, as well. So, just what are the differences between them? Opiates derive from a purely natural source. They come from the flowering opium poppy that grows in Southern Asia. Examples of opiates include heroin, morphine, and codeine. Opioids, on the other hand, are a broad term that includes opiates, which are purely natural, as well as synthetic and semi-synthetic substances. When created in labs, drugs are called synthetic. They are completely “man-made.” Examples of synthetic substances include fentanyl and methadone, whereas semi-synthetic drugs are partly man-made and partly made from a pure substance. Examples of semi-synthetic substances include Vicodin and Oxycontin. While the difference between opiate and opioid drugs is clear, the effects are not as clear-cut. Both opiates and opioids are highly addictive and come with side effects. Another problem with either of these substances is that they can lead to overdose and death.

Effects of Opiate and Opioid Drugs

The effects of either of these class of drugs are as follows:

  • Euphoria
  • Drowsiness
  • Stomach upset
  • Dry mouth
  • Addiction
  • Nodding off

When prescribed an opiate or opioid medication, it’s important to use it only as prescribed for the shortest duration possible and fully understand the difference between opiate and opioid. If you suspect you may be addicted to one of these substances, help is available.

Find Help Today

At Promises Treatment Center, you can get better together with the help of those who care. Our compassionate team is ready to guide you through to a place of healing and happiness. Whether you need medical detox or intensive outpatient treatment, our center is equipped to handle the challenges you face.  Promises understands that life may throw a curveball now and then, so we are flexible and customizable. We can work with various types of needs and issues that may not fit exactly in a box, because we know everyone is unique. Our main goal is to see that our clients get well. To that end, we provide several therapy programs designed to get to the root of your problems. Some of these include:

Don’t let the drug addiction affect your future. Now that you know the difference between opiate and opioid, you can seek the treatment you need at a quality rehab center. Contact us today at 844.875.5609, and we’ll help you get on the pathway to healing.

Scroll to Top