Though the substances are manufactured differently, the terms “opiates” and “opioids” are used interchangeably to refer to narcotic drugs. Both have medical uses as pain relievers, cough suppressants, and anesthetics. However, the drugs are also highly addictive regardless of the name they carry. Prolonged use or intentional abuse often leads to the need for professional painkiller addiction treatment.
Overcoming opiate dependence or addiction is possible with the right treatment program. If you want to end your opiate addiction, Blueprint Recovery Center’s painkiller addiction treatment is a great place to start. Call 833.654.1004 or complete the online form to learn about our unique and effective programs at Blueprint Recovery Center.
Difference Between Opiates and Opioids
When you research opiates online, you may receive hundreds of search results for opioids as well, indicating no distinction between the two. But according to government sources, the difference between opiates and opioids is how the drugs are made.
Opiates are chemical compounds extracted directly from the sap and fibers of the poppy plant. Poppies cultivated for this purpose are often found in Turkey and India.
Ironically, the seeds of the poppy plant are non-narcotic and edible. You may have enjoyed the tasty seeds on your morning bagel or muffin.
Examples of plant-derived opiates are:
Opiates are classified as Schedule II controlled substances, meaning they are appropriate for medical use but also have a high potential for abuse and addiction. The only exception is heroin, which is a Schedule I drug. Heroin has no accepted medical application and a high potential for addiction.
Opioids are not derived from naturally growing plants. Instead, they are synthetic chemicals made in a lab.
The most well-known prescription opioids are:
These highly addictive opiates and opioids are responsible for the growing epidemic of addictions and overdoses today.
What Are the Long-Term Effects of Opiates?
Whether opiates are used recreationally or as prescribed by a physician, dependence or addiction can develop quickly. Individuals who use the drugs for a prolonged period or at high doses can experience a range of long-term effects.
Studies show that the long-term effects of opiates include potential harm to various major organs. Many people who use opiates experience chronic constipation or bowel obstruction that requires surgery. Other GI issues include stomach cramps, bloating, nausea, and vomiting.
Also, the long-term effects of opiates include slowed breathing. Breathing can decrease to dangerous levels, causing a lack of oxygen to the brain. Reduced oxygen can lead to brain damage, coma, or death.
Long-term painkiller abuse is a risk factor for heart problems such as atrial fibrillation. This condition may lead to heart failure, stroke, or death. Individuals who inject opiates are at risk for bacterial infections of the heart lining, known as endocarditis, which can be fatal if untreated.
Other Risks of Long-Term Painkiller Abuse
People who abuse opiates for a prolonged period are also at risk for reproductive problems, falls and fractures, and infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.
Reproductive issues experienced by women include decreased fertility, risk of miscarriage, or preterm birth. When opiates are used during pregnancy, the infant may suffer neonatal abstinence syndrome after birth. For men, opiate abuse can decrease testosterone production and affect the quality and quantity of sperm.
Conquer Opiate Addiction at Blueprint Recovery Center
Opiate abuse or addiction will control your life as long as you allow it to. It’s up to you to take the first step toward recovery by entering a professional treatment program.
Call us today at 833.654.1004 or fill out our online form to learn how Blueprint Recovery Center can help you rediscover your true self.