What Is An Opiate Definition?

It’s common for people to hear the terms opiate and opioid used interchangeably. But if you’re like most people, you may think the two terms are the same. However, is this accurate? What are the similarities and differences between opioids and opiates? And, finally, what is a clear-cut opiate definition? It’s helpful to understand the definition of these terms if you’re dealing with addiction issues.

What Is An Opiate Definition?

The opiate definition is sometimes difficult to grasp because of the many similarities between opiates and opioids. Let’s look at some of the similarities first. Both opiates and opioids bind to the opioid receptors in the brain, thus producing a “high” or euphoria.

People who take either of these substances often report feeling extremely happy, relaxed, and mentally energized afterward. This makes sense because both substances work on the chemicals in your brain to make you feel good.

Another commonality between these two substances is their addictive characteristic.

The differences between opiates and opioids are more about how they are derived and what they are made of.

What Are Opiates?

An opiate is a derivative of the flowering opium poppy that grows in Southern Asia. It is a natural substance not mixed with any synthetic chemicals. Some examples of opiate drugs are heroin, morphine, and codeine.

  • Opioids, on the other hand, can consist of drugs that are synthetic or semi-synthetic or all-natural. Therefore, opioids include opiates within the definition, but opiates do not include all opioids. Some examples of opioids include:
  • Fentanyl and methadone (synthetic substances)
  • Vicodin and OxyContin (semi-synthetic)

The difference between semi-synthetic and synthetic is that synthetic is completely made from “man-made” substances and chemicals. In contrast, semi-synthetic substances include both completely man-made and those that are man-made mixed with natural. But, whether you are taking opiates or opioids, the effects are quite similar. Some of these effects are as follows:

  • Euphoria
  • Drowsiness or lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • A burst of energy, followed by nodding off
  • Addiction

These effects range in their severity, depending on how much and how long the drug has been taken. No matter how severe the effects are, you will need treatment to overcome the addiction.

If dependence and addiction occur, your best way forward is to seek detox and therapy treatment. During a rehab treatment program, you’ll have professional doctors, therapists, and licensed substance abuse counselors to guide you forward to a brighter future. Therapy treatments that will be helpful for drug addiction include:

Find Healing at Casa Palmera

At Casa Palmera, we can help you in finding a brighter tomorrow. When you participate in rehab, you are taking control of your life and making it healthier.

Casa Palmera is a top-quality rehab center that uses evidence-based techniques to help people struggling with substance abuse to find healing.

During treatment, you will have a plan designed specifically for you. Casa Palmera offers a wide variety of treatment options, some of which include:

Begin recovery by verifying your insurance. We are in-network with a variety of insurance agencies, such as Cigna, Anthem, Blue Cross, and Aetna.

Don’t let opiate addiction take over your life and cause distress. Now that you know the opiate definition, you can overcome this problem with the help of a rehab center. So contact us today and we’ll get you on the pathway to healing.


This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for medical advice. We understand that everyone’s situation is unique, and this content is to provide an overall understanding of substance use disorders. These disorders are very complex, and this post does not take into account the unique circumstances for every individual. For specific questions about your health needs or that of a loved one, seek the help of a healthcare professional.