What’s the Difference Between Opiates, Opioids and Narcotics?

Opioids Opiates Narcotics Suboxone Heroin Hydrocodone OxyContin Oxycodone Methadone

Understanding the difference between opiates, opioids and narcotics may seem confusing, but it’s actually quite simple. can get confusing. I remember the long, long nights of being in withdrawal, seeking a remedy online and having no clue as to what I was even addicted to. Quickly things got more confusing as I started reading about narcotics, opioids, opiates and

Hopefully, this brief article will help you understand the difference between opiates, opioids and narcotics, helping you better understand your addiction, of perhaps someone else’s addiction.

What’s what when it comes to opioids, opiates and narcotics

Although these terms are often used interchangeably they are different: Opiates refer to natural opioids such as heroin, morphine and codeine. Opioids refer to all natural, semisynthetic, and synthetic opioids. (Source: www.cdc.gov)

  • Narcotic drugs – Originally referred to any substance that dulled the senses and relieved pain. Some people use the term to refer to all illegal drugs but technically, it refers only to opioids.
  • Opioids – Natural, synthetic, or semi-synthetic chemicals that interact with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the body and brain, and reduce the intensity of pain signals and feelings of pain. This class of drugs includes the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain medications available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, and many others. Prescription opioids are generally safe when taken for a short time and as directed by a doctor, but because they produce euphoria in addition to pain relief, they can be misused and have addiction potential. (synthetic)
  • Opiates – Narcotic analgesic derived from the opium poppy plant (organic)

As of recent, most people including the medical community now use “opiates” as a label / catch-all, regardless of the chemical being organic or synthetic.

The Opioid Addiction & Overdose Epidemic

As of the early 2000’s, the United States (and many other countries are in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic. If you or someone you know needs help, effective treatment is available and can save lives. Currently, Suboxone (the patented name for buprenorphine and naloxone in a sublingual film) is the preferred method for treatment.

This is commonly referred to as “Medication-Assisted Therapy”, where a combination of medicine (Suboxone) and therapy with a licensed counselor work as a team to help the addicted person transition from often harmful prescription and street drugs (hydrocodone, oxycodone, OxyContin, Opana, percocet, heroin, oxymorphone, etc.) to Suboxone.

Therapy is used to help the person resolve issues and traumas that often lead to addictive behaviors.

Suboxone Treatment in Nashville, TN

Nashville Recovery is a state licensed addiction treatment center, providing outpatient medication-assisted therapy for opioid addiction.

We offer both clinic appointments and telemedicine appointments to make it easy for most anyone to begin and maintain a simple, yet extremely effective recovery program.

Our mission is to help people transform their lives suing a simple, step-by-step program to overcome opioid addiction.

We offer same-day appointments most weekdays and Saturday’s, and are open late every Thursday to accommodate typical working hours.

Schedule a Clinic Appointment

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