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The Differences Between Opioids and Opiates

A man sits on a fence looking forward into the distance.
Drugs like heroin, Vicodin and Percocet can destroy lives, but there is a way to move forward for anyone who wants it.


There are a lot of differences between opioids and opiates, but they do have one major thing in common: They can both lead to addiction, overdose and death.

Just because a drug is prescribed by a doctor (opioids), that doesn’t make it safe. And just because a drug is derived from a plant (opiates), that doesn’t make it safe.

Now let’s take a look at the major differences between opioids and opiates.

Opioids Vs. Opiates

An opiate is any drug that is derived from the opium poppy plant, which is commonly grown in South America, Asia and the Middle East. Opiate drugs include morphine, opium, heroin and codeine.

Opioids are drugs that produce similar effects as opiates, but are manufactured in a laboratory. Examples include Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet and Demerol.

Both opiates and opioids work by either blocking the pain signal or by changing how a person experiences that pain. The problem is that the euphoric sense of well being created by these drugs can be extremely addictive.

Here is where things get a bit confusing: Because they share many of the same properties and risks, many people and organizations simply refer to both types of drugs as opioids.

You’ve certainly heard politicians and media refer to the “opioid crises.” They’re talking about heroin, prescription painkillers and dangerous additives like fentanyl.

Heroin and Painkiller Addiction Treatment in Denver

No matter how your addiction began or where it led, there is a way to break free from the hold it has on you.

At The Raleigh House, our first goal is to make you feel safe and comfortable. You’re then assigned your own master’s level therapist who will work with you to come up with a plan for rehab—and to rebuild your life.

One-on-one and group therapy sessions will help you heal emotionally, while chef-prepared meals and activities like yoga and boxing help heal your body. Meanwhile, you’ll be staying in a clean and cozy setting that feels like home, with staff that treats you like family.

Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about the heroin addiction treatment program and the painkiller addiction treatment program at The Raleigh House.

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