An estimated two million people are currently struggling with opioid addiction. With so many individuals struggling with this rising epidemic, it’s important to understand the issue’s ins and outs. One of the biggest confusions surrounding the outbreak is the difference between opioids and opiates and how they affect those who use them.
If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, reach out to a treatment center near you today. At San Antonio Recovery Center, we offer substance use disorder treatment programs designed to help our patients heal and thrive.
The Difference Between Opioids and Opiates
Opiates are naturally occurring substances that are derived from the poppy plant. Opium, codeine, and morphine are all opiates.
The term “opioid” refers to any substance, whether naturally occurring, synthetic, or partially synthetic, that acts on the opioid receptors on the brain. All opiates are opioids, but not all opioids are opiates. Examples of synthetic or partially synthetic opioids include Vicodin, Demerol, and Percocet.
Although opiates may be naturally derived, this doesn’t mean that they are safe. All opioids are addictive due to the powerful effects they can have on the brain. While these substances are often prescribed to treat chronic pain in those with an illness or injury, they can also be habit-forming. If you’ve been prescribed either an opiate or an opioid, talk to your doctor about the risks and be sure to take the medication exactly as prescribed.
Why Is There an Opiate and Opioid Addiction Epidemic?
In the past, opioids were prescribed more frequently to treat pain. In fact, pharmaceutical companies would encourage these prescriptions. However, what makes opioids effective at treating pain is also what makes them addictive. When you take an opioid, it causes a rush of dopamine which can create a sense of euphoria and can relieve pain. The reward center of the brain is activated and wants to relive that experience. Using opioids again becomes appealing. Over time, the body develops a tolerance to the drugs. This means the body needs more of the drug to feel the same effects. Also, since opioids only decrease the sensation of pain, the individual will still suffer from their pain. Chronic pain increases the likelihood that an individual will abuse these drugs to try and find relief.
Now that research shows these medications as highly dangerous and addictive, doctors are pulling back on using them to manage chronic pain. However, opioid addiction is hard to overcome on your own, and many people who struggle with this condition never reach out for professional help. Some individuals turn to heroin or other illicit forms of opioids if they can no longer get a prescription.
Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder
Treatment for opioid addiction will typically include some or all of the following:
- Medical detox
- Therapy and counseling
- Medication-assisted treatment
- 12-step meetings
Finding a treatment center that offers personalized care will give you the best chance at long-term, sustainable recovery.
Getting Help at San Antonio Recovery Center
It’s not surprising that so many people fall prey to opioids and opiates. Whether the addiction is to an opioid or an opiate, going to a quality drug and alcohol rehab that can effectively treat both forms of addiction is of the utmost importance. You need a comfortable and affordable place to heal. San Antonio Recovery Center is ready to help you end the cycle of addiction. We know how incredibly hard it is to find a way out, but we are there to help you every step of the way. We have many forms of individualized treatment to help you get the help you need. Call us at 866.957.7885, or contact us online to take that first step towards recovery.