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Opioid vs. Opiate: What’s the Difference?

a man struggles to conceal his opioid addiction

Opioids and opiates are technically different drugs, but the word opioid has become the umbrella term that encompasses all plant-based opiates and lab-created opioids when referring to the opioid epidemic, opioid addiction, and opioid rehab. Regardless of which type of drug someone has become dependent on, they are said to have an opioid use disorder (OUD), and professional rehab is their best option for healing. If you are dependent on an opiate or opioid, seek the support you need and deserve at a facility that specializes in opioid addiction treatment in Ohio.

Evoke Wellness Ohio provides evidence-based treatments for OUDs. One of the dangers of prescription drug abuse is that it can lead someone to seek to acquire drugs on the street, where there are no labels and the ingredients used to cut these substances are unknown. Reach out to Evoke Wellness Ohio today to learn more about the risks of opioid abuse, opioid addiction rehab, and how we can help you with your OUD. Contact us at 866.430.9267 or online.

Opioid vs. Opiate: What’s the Difference?

Nearly 6000 years ago, ancient Sumerians discovered the euphoric effects of opium, which is derived from the poppy plant. Opium was widely used throughout the world, including by people of all socio-economic classes in Western Europe, where scientists eventually figured out how to isolate two additional drugs from it in the late 1800s. Once they had isolated heroin and morphine, both of which are more potent than opium, the use of opiates was widely used for medical purposes, as well as to get high. Today, only morphine and codeine, the least potent of the poppy-derived opiates, are still used in medical settings.

In the 20th century, scientists learned how to formulate synthetic versions of opiates, which they termed opioids. These include drugs such as oxycodone and fentanyl, intended to revolutionize the treatment of pain.

Opioid became the general term that referred to all drugs, natural or synthetic, that mimic the effects of the original drugs from the opium poppy.

In the 1990s, the FDA approved oxycodone as a prescription painkiller for moderate to severe pain. The drug’s manufacturer claimed that it was non-addictive and marketed it aggressively to physicians across the country. The drug was not only addictive but highly addictive, and the ensuing national health crisis was termed the opioid epidemic.

In many cases, individuals who had become hooked on Oxy while being treated after surgery or for sports or other orthopedic injuries turned to drugs available on the street when their prescriptions were no longer easily accessible. Heroin was the most common street drug to which people addicted to prescription painkillers would turn when their supply was cut off.

The opioid epidemic made the dangers of prescription drug abuse exceedingly clear to public health officials and physicians. Though recovery from opioid addiction is very challenging, success is possible when supported by evidence-based treatments in a professional rehab setting.

Do You Need Professional Help for an Opioid Addiction?

Whether you first encountered this class of drugs through an opioid prescription given to you by a doctor or by experimenting with an opiate in the company of friends—if you are not in control of your drug use, you need professional help.

Some of the red flags to be aware of when asking yourself, “Am I addicted?” are:

  • You feel overwhelming physical and psychological cravings between doses
  • Your energy, libido, and ability to focus are reduced
  • You feel sick most of the time, but you don’t have the flu
  • You’re losing weight
  • Taking care of yourself is a low priority, so your hygiene and appearance are declining
  • You avoid people in favor of getting high
  • The people you care most about are shut out of your life
  • You are in financial trouble due to drug-seeking behavior
  • You have been fired or flunked out of school
  • Nothing is morally off limits when it comes to acquiring your drug, including lying and stealing
  • You experience withdrawal symptoms if you cannot get your hands on the drug in time

An opioid addiction will consume you. The drug becomes not simply the only important thing in your life but the only thing in your life. Everything else falls away. If this is true of you or someone you care about, call Evoke Wellness today at 866.430.9267.

Reach Out to Evoke Wellness Ohio for Recovery Support Today

The dangers of prescription drug abuse are very real. Opioid painkillers are effective in treating pain but come with severe risks. If you find you have developed an OUD and are now afraid of what will happen, call 866.430.9267 or submit our online contact form. We can help you. You are not alone.