Many people feel confused by all the terms used when describing drugs like heroin, fentanyl, and prescription painkillers. So what are opioids? Are they the same as opiates? What does this mean when it comes to ending your drug use?
What are opioids?
So what are opioids, really? You hear some people calling your drug an opioid. Then you hear someone else saying opiate. Which is it?
People use both the names opioid and opiate to describe drugs from opium of the poppy plant. They also describe medications made to mimic opium’s pain killing effects. Technically, opiates are natural drugs coming from the plant, like morphine. People use the term opioid to describe drugs that scientists create in a lab, like prescription painkillers.
Whether you’ve been abusing opioids or opiates, drug treatment providers know how to treat you. The physical effects of these drugs are very similar, as are the pathways to sobriety.
How common is opioid abuse?
Now you know the basic answer to, “What are opioids?” So how common is opioid abuse? Considering people have been using opiates for pain relief since 3400 B.C., individuals have been abusing these drugs for centuries. After all, in its earliest use by Sumerians, those users called the poppy plant the “joy plant.”
Merchants exported and imported the joy plant around the world, trading it for its pain relief, as well as its help for insomnia and diarrhea. Today’s doctors also use opioids for cough relief.
Opioids go by many names on the street. For heroin, these include H, hammer, skag, elephant, rock, gear, smack and horse. They also include nose drops, black tar, white, Chinese H, dragon, white dynamite and China white.
Are opioids addictive?
Of course, worldwide knowledge of the existence of a joy plant led to widespread opiate abuse. Your addiction symptoms affect you, just as other people have experienced them for hundreds of years. These drugs are highly addictive.
The high of opioids is unlike almost any other. You gain immediate pleasure, euphoria, and relaxation. The only way you experience this level of high again is by returning to the drug. So you do, time and time again.
Because opioids affect the pleasure center in your brain, your brain stops creating its own pleasure chemicals. This means you only experience pleasure when you use your drug. You quickly fall into addiction.
When you try to quit using your opioids, you suffer intense withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are why you need help from a quality detox center, one specializing in opioid addiction treatment.
Getting Help Now for Opioid Addiction
To leave your opioid addiction behind you, you need help from a licensed and accredited detox center. Services you need for comfortable, healthy detox include:
- Individual treatment planning
- IV therapy and IV detoxification
- Privacy and confidentiality
- Medically supervised programs
- Specialized opiate and opioid detox