Build a foundation for lasting recovery from addiction

Opioid vs. Opiate: What’s the Difference?

young woman pondering opioids vs. opiates and what's the difference?

When talking with your doctor about pain medication, you may have heard them use two different terms: opioid vs. opiate. What do these mean? Both are used to describe pain medication derived from the poppy plant, Papaver somniferum, but there are slight differences between the two. When asking your doctor which pain medication is right for you, you can use either term when reviewing pain medication.

At Evoke Wellness at Coconut Creek, our mission is to support Florida residents who are abusing their opioid pain medication and unable to stop on their own. Our treatment programs use a mix of behavioral and holistic therapies along with medical support to treat all aspects of the addiction and underlying condition. Patients will participate in group and private therapy sessions where they will work on developing healthy coping skills to identify triggers and stop the abuse before causing serious harm.

For more information about our opioid rehab in Coconut Creek, FL, call 866.693.3871 today to speak with our knowledgeable team.

Prescription Drug Abuse

According to reports, 4 out of 5 prescriptions filled by pharmacies in the US are for opioid pain medication.1 Because of its effectiveness, doctors are still readily prescribing opioids to treat pain despite the potential for addiction.

Prescription drug abuse became prominent in the 1990s when opioids were first prescribed for pain. Very few people knew the full addictive potential of opioids, and the epidemic that started in the 90s is still going on today. The most abused opioid pain medications include:

  • Dilaudid
  • Lorcet
  • OxyContin
  • Percocet
  • Percodan
  • Tylox
  • Vicodin

When taken as prescribed, these medications are safe to take. The danger of prescription drug abuse happens when you take more than prescribed or take them with alcohol or other drugs.

Our society’s lack of understanding about addiction has made abusing pain medication popular. Having a glass of wine or taking it with other opioids to heighten the effects is a common practice for many. The more frequently they do this, the more likely they will develop an addiction and need professional support to stop.

Evoke Wellness at Coconut Creek works with Florida residents who are abusing their prescription medication and want help getting sober. During therapy, we discuss the dangers of addiction and develop new coping strategies for maintaining sobriety while still treating chronic pain.

Understanding the Difference Between Opioid vs. Opiate

While both terms are used to describe opioid pain medication, there are some key differences between opioids and opiates. One of the differences between opioids vs. opiates is how they are produced.

Opiate Production

Opiates refer to pain medication made from compounds that are extracted from the poppy plant’s sap and fibers. Naturally made opiates include morphine, opium, codeine, and heroin.

Opioid Production

Opioids are a little more complex to explain. Some opioids are made from a mix of synthetic and natural opiate compounds, while others are 100% synthetic. Hydrocodone, hydromorphone, and oxycodone include a mix of synthetic and natural compounds. Other types of synthetic opioids include:

  • Dextromethorphan (Nyquil, Robitussin, Theraflu, Vicks)
  • Dextropropoxyphene (Darvon, Darvocet-N)
  • Loperamide (Imodium)
  • Oxymorphone (Opana)
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
  • Methadone (Dolophine)
  • Fentanyl (Ultiva, Sublimaze, Duragesic patch)

Today, opioids and opiates are interchangeable, meaning you can use either word to talk about any type of opioid pain medication. When prescribed opioids for pain, you can reduce your risk of addiction by avoiding alcohol or other drugs while taking the medication. Be sure to talk with your doctor as your pain levels change.

Contact Evoke Wellness in Coconut Creek Today

Evoke Wellness at Coconut Creek is a full-service addiction treatment center that works with individuals who are abusing their opioid pain medication. Our therapists use cognitive-behavioral therapy and other proven behavioral therapeutic techniques to teach patients new coping skills for identifying their triggers and how to avoid abusing more drugs.

If you would like to discuss the differences between an opioid vs. opiate with our dedicated team, contact Evoke Wellness at Coconut Creek online or call 866.693.3871 today.



1National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics – “Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics”