pill bottle of opiates

Opiates Definition: What Are They?

Do you know what the opiates definition is? Perhaps you aren’t sure of the difference between an opiate and an opioid. In many cases, people mistakenly use the terms interchangeably. At Recovery Ranch PA, we believe education is critical in helping people to overcome their addiction.

Do you need opiate addiction treatment? Call us today at 717.969.9126 for help.

What Is the Opiate Definition?

Opiates are drugs that come from opium. It can be a medication prescribed by a doctor, or it can be an illegal substance. In all cases, the drug comes from the opium poppy plant. Critical examples of opiates are codeine, morphine, and heroin.

There are three primary types of opiates: natural, semisynthetic, and synthetic. Natural opiates are derived directly from the opium poppy plant. The two most common natural opiates are morphine and codeine. Semisynthetic opiates are created by modifying natural opiates in a laboratory setting. The most common semisynthetic opiate is oxycodone. Synthetic opiates are entirely man-made and do not contain any natural ingredients. The most common synthetic opiate is fentanyl, which has nearly 100 times the potency of morphine.

The Difference Between Opiates and Opioids

You may hear opiates and opioids used interchangeably, but that’s not always accurate. Opioid is a term that people use to refer to any substance that interacts with the opioid receptors in the brain. This term can include both natural and synthetic drugs. Synthetic drugs are those that pharmacists or dealers manufacture. An excellent example of a synthetic opioid is fentanyl. Methadone is another example.

Keep in mind that all types of opiates are considered opioids. However, not all opioids can be called opiates.

What Are the Effects of Opiates?

Opiates are a potent type of drug. They bind with the opioid receptors in the brain to create the high that you feel when using them. This area of the brain is responsible for a variety of functions, especially controlling pain levels. It can also play a role in the reward center of the brain. Taking opiates activates that reward function, which makes you want to use it over and over again. The reward function causes the drug to create addiction.

It may seem that, because opiates are natural, they are safe to use. That’s not the case. Opiates in any form can be habit-forming. As they become an addiction like this, they continue to interact with the neurotransmitters in the brain. Over time, the brain cannot function correctly without them. You crave more and more of the drug. As you do, you find yourself unable to stop using it.

Eventually, this damages the brain permanently. It also exposes a person to the ongoing threat of overdose. Keep in mind that opiate overdose can occur with a single dose – it does not take a large quantity or long-term use of the drug to cause it. The risk of overdosing increases, the longer a person uses it, and the more of the products they use, though.

What Can You Do to Stop Opiate Addiction?

If you are facing an addiction to opiates, your first step is to contact our team for immediate help. Most people benefit from drug addiction detox as a first step. At Recovery Ranch, PA, we offer a customized treatment plan to address this. Detox allows the body to naturally rid itself of the drug, helping to break that dependency.

Once you work through a detox program, you need to address the addiction itself. We often recommend inpatient drug rehab as a first step for those who are just out of detox. It provides more balanced and advanced care options to help you. Some people can benefit from outpatient drug addiction treatment as well as ongoing aftercare support.

Methods of Treatment

Within our drug addiction treatment program for opiates, you will gain access to care such as:

  • 12-step program treatment: Our 12-step program is based on Alcoholics Anonymous and helps you to understand your addiction, work through it, and find sobriety.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy: This is a type of therapy that helps you to understand your thoughts and behaviors around drug use so that you can change them.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy: This helps you to address thoughts, behaviors, and emotions in order to find a better path.
  • Nutritional therapy: To help you keep a balanced diet during your recovery and to address any nutritional deficiencies related to addiction.

We provide both evidence-based treatment for opiate addiction as well as holistic treatment options. It is always best for you to reach out as soon as you recognize that you have an addiction. If you feel as though you cannot make it through the day without drugs, it is time to call on our team for immediate help. Understanding the opiates definition can help you to see why you need this care.

Are You Facing Opiate Addiction?

Understanding this opiate definition can be empowering. It can mean that you recognize that there is help available to you. Our team at Recovery Ranch PA offers comprehensive treatment and support for those battling opiate addiction. To find out how we can help you, call our counselors now at 717.969.9126. Take the first step at recovery.

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