If you thought that opiates and opioids were the same things, you are not alone. They are, in fact, different, though similar in many of the ways that count. At Pennsylvania Adult & Teen Challenge (PAATC), we are well versed in the broad range of opiates available to users and the best treatment methods for those suffering from opiate abuse. You can find out more about our addiction treatment programs and services by calling 844.442.8673 today.
What Are Opiates?
Opiates come from the poppy plant (Papaver somniferum). In other words, nature creates the active ingredient, the molecules that make up an opiate. Common opiates include opium, morphine, and codeine, as well as heroin.
An opioid molecule is a synthetic or partly synthetic substance. That means it is created chemically in a lab by humans. Some opioids contain opium-derived substances as well as synthetic components. They behave the way opiates do in the human brain as their molecules are quite similar. Opioids you have heard of include OxyContin, hydrocodone, and fentanyl.
Doctors prescribe both opiates and opioids for pain relief. They can also be sold illegally, misused, and abused, and they are highly addictive. Whether it’s to an opiate or an opioid, if you or a loved one needs help to recover from drug addiction, we can help you get started on your path to recovery.
Opium is a highly addictive opiate narcotic and is the foundational substance in morphine, codeine, and heroin. It has many street names, including Ah-pen-yen, Aunti, Big O, Dopium, Midnight Oil, Pen Yan, Pox, and Toxy, to name a few.
It is used in liquid, solid, or powder form and taken as a pill, injected, or smoked. Its impact on the brain includes a euphoric rush, followed by relaxation and release from pain.
Morphine is a narcotic derived from opium with a high potential for abuse and addiction. When used for medical purposes, morphine is a powerful pain reliever. Morphine’s street names include Dreamer, Emsel, Mister Blue, Morpho, and Unkie.
Traditionally, doctors have injected morphine, but patients can take pharmaceutical forms orally or via a skin patch. The mind experiences euphoria and relief from physical, mental, and emotional pain. Morphine use also decreases the person’s hunger and inhibits the cough reflex, leading to asphyxiation.
Also derived from opium, doctors use codeine to treat moderate to moderately severe pain and is a common ingredient in cough medications as it reduces the cough reflex. Users commonly combine it with analgesics in cold medications. People may call it Captain Cody, Cody, Little C, and School Boy. When users mix the syrup with soda, it goes by names such as Purple Drank, Sizzup, and Texas Tea.
Codeine can be formulated in a single-ingredient pill or capsule or combined with other ingredients in a capsule or syrup. Abusers may take up to 80 tablets a day, consume multiple bottles of cough syrup, or mix it with soda. Though people may take it innocently at first to control a cough or mild pain, dependence can happen quickly, and abuse can follow. Codeine operates on the brain the way other opiates do, causing euphoria that ever-increasing doses can only replicate.
Opiate Use and Abuse
As with synthetic opioids like OxyContin, opiates are often medically prescribed for chronic or acute pain. In those cases, no one sets out to become addicted. For many, extended use of opium, morphine, and codeine can result in tolerance and physical and psychological dependence. It is possible to overdose on opiates. Finally, addiction to these opiates shows up as an inability to control urges, painful withdrawal symptoms, and a shutting down of the brain’s ability to produce its own dopamine.
Contact Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge Today
Opiate abuse is a severe and life-threatening condition. Don’t wait. Let us connect you to one of our caring staff members to answer your questions about PAATC’s opiate addiction treatment center and shepherd you through the process of getting started on the road to sobriety. If you or someone you care about is abusing an opiate, please give us a call at 844.442.8673 or reach out to us using our online form today.