People often don’t realize that there is actually a difference between an opiate and an opioid. That’s because they both affect the brain and its receptors in the same way. But there actually is a fairly distinct difference between the two, so let’s learn about what they are.

Opiates are derived from opium, and opium was traditionally extracted from the poppy plant by specific methods.

Opioids are actually human-made drugs, not ones that occur naturally. These are considered synthetic drugs, and you may have heard of a few like fentanyl, hydrocodone, and oxycodone. We developed those ourselves, and they don’t occur naturally.

All opiates are actually opioids, but that isn’t true in reverse. Not all opioids are opiates. Weird to think about, right?

Often opiates are used for pain and can lead to addiction. Prescription painkillers fit the bill when it comes to this, which include the drugs mentioned above and more. This also includes heroin, which is a highly abused illegal drug that is very addictive.

Between the Two

Often there is a question about synthetic opioids vs natural opioids, and what is the real issue or relation between the two. They affect the delta opioid receptors, which can change how we perceive pain and other things, and often may induce a high if taken in large amounts. Usually, the pain relief is enough, but if you don’t actually have pain, then the drugs induce euphoria.

They are basically considered one and the same and interchangeable by everyone these days. The opiates are just the ones that occur naturally, but they can all have a detrimental effect over time.

They are controlled substances, which means they have to be prescribed by a doctor and can’t be found on your person without that prescription. That’s because they are highly abused and can cause overdoses and death when taken illegally and unprescribed.

They are Narcotics

Yes, these drugs are narcotics, which means they can produce narcosis in an individual when taken. If you are taking any medication, be sure to talk to your doctor and learn all potential risks so you can be careful and watch out for signs or symptoms that could lead to potential abuse or overdose.

Any drug that you take has the chance to be dangerous to look out for yourself. If you think you may have a drug abuse problem, then reach out and get help.