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Opiates vs. Opioids

two pill bottles sit beside each other it is hard to tell by sight the difference in opiates vs opioids

One of the most significant problems facing the United States society is prescription drug abuse. Two of the most commonly abused prescription drugs are opiates and opioids. It is not uncommon for people to use the terms opiates and opioids interchangeably. However, both have distinct differences in their use and impact on the body. While they have legitimate medical uses, they can be very dangerous when abused. Drug detox center programs in Los Angeles can help people abusing opiates and opioids in a safe and supportive environment.

Why Is Prescription Drug Abuse so Prevalent in the United States?

Opioids and opiates are among the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States. Doctors use these medications to help their patients manage their pain. Both drugs interact with opioid receptors localized throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems, making users feel calm and relaxed.

Unfortunately, their widespread ability to provide relief leads to their increased use. Patients can quickly become addicted if doctors do not monitor them closely. People should also know the impact of their prescription drugs to keep from falling into the vicious opioid addiction cycle.

Opioids vs. Opiates: What’s the Difference?

Although it is not uncommon for people to consider opioids and opiates the same drugs, they are truly different. Both opiates and opioids can be addictive; however, this depends on several factors, including the person using them, the amount they consume, and how they use them.

Opiates are a naturally-occurring family of drugs derived from opium. Opium is a substance created when manufacturers extract morphine from the unripe seeds of the Asian poppy plant. Physicians usually prescribe opiate drugs for people who suffer from chronic pain.

Opioids, on the other hand, come in synthetic variants such as oxycodone or fentanyl and work by binding to opioid receptors in certain parts of the brain and body. The use of opioids has increased dramatically over recent years. Their side effects vary depending on several factors, including duration, dose, tolerance, and whether people take them alongside alcohol or other drugs.

Types of Opiates

Opiates are a type of drug that includes prescription painkillers like codeine and morphine in addition to illegal opiates like heroin and opium. Opiate drugs alter your brain and body’s communication.

What Are the Signs of Opiate Use?

If you suspect that someone might be using abusing opiates, pay attention to these warning signs:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Mood swings
  • Cravings
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Feeling isolated
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Aggressive behaviors
  • Sudden weight loss
  • No interest in physical appearance or personal hygiene
  • Finding needles, spoons, or burned foil

Types of Opioids

Opioids relieve pain by attaching to opioid receptors in the brain. This class of drugs includes fentanyl, Vicodin, OxyContin, and hydrocodone. When a physician prescribes opioids, they check to ensure the correct dosage and that there are no adverse effects on the user. However, when people abuse opioids, they are only focused on getting the feeling of euphoria and calmness associated with injecting into the bloodstream.

Signs of Opioids Use

When someone abuses their opioid prescription, there are many signs to watch. These include:

  • Lacking normal motor control and coordination
  • Sweating profusely
  • Skin turns bluish

Overdosing on opioids is common—especially with fentanyl. The symptoms of overdoses include:

  • Appearing sedated
  • Unresponsive
  • Shallow breathing
  • Loss of consciousness

Get Opioid and Opiate Addiction Recovery Support at Detox LA

Using opioids or opiates without a prescription is dangerous. When prescribed by a doctor, they will monitor you to know how it impacts your body. However, if you begin to participate in prescription drug abuse, you put your life in danger. Drugs such as heroin, fentanyl, and OxyContin have been known for causing overdoses.

At Detox LA, our purpose is to help you recover from drug abuse. Our team of medical professionals will flush the toxins from your system, while our mental health professionals will help you realize the triggers associated with your addiction. Contact [direct] to begin your journey to sobriety today.