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Opioids or Opiates?

Oxycontin Opiate Rehab

Generally all pain medications that contain opiates are referred to as Opioids. While opiates are a natural painkilling drug found in plants, opioids are synthetic drugs (man-made), which are chemically engineered to have the same function and effect as opiates. Both opiates and opioids are highly addictive, powerful, and often prescribed by doctors in the US for chronic pain treatment. This is despite overwhelming evidence of increasing health problems in patients using these drugs.

Years before, the term “opiate” was used for drugs similar to opium that contain pain-relieving properties and produced from opium poppy. However, in more recent time, synthetic pain medication drugs (or partly synthetic) drugs which emulate opium are referred to as ‘opioids,’ so as to not be confused with naturally occurring opiates.

Opiates, as referred to originally, included the list below.

  • Morphine
  • Codeine
  • Heroin (semi-synthetic)
  • Opium

The synthetic "Opiates", or opioids included the ones below:

  • Codeine
  • Vicodin (hydrocodone)
  • MS Contin Kadian (morphine)
  • Oxycontin, Percoset (Oxycodone)
  • Dilaudid (hydromorphone)
  • Duragesic (fentanyl)

Opioids are currently marketed under the names: OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, Percodan, Tylox and Demerol among others.

Opioids are among the most addictive drugs produced and sold in the pharmaceutical market. Many addictions initially start with an injury and the need for chronic pain treatment. This often entails a prescription of an opioid medication to relieve moderate to severe pain and discomfort. Gradually, as the effectiveness of the pain medication is diminished, the patient seeks higher and higher doses of the drug and before long, he or she discovers that life without the drug is unbearable.

Clients admitted to our opiate rehab center are examined by our medical and clinical staff who’ll determine the best fit program, the course and the length of the treatment to be followed. Addiction to opiates requires medical detoxification which is provided in our facility's detox center. Our opiate detox facility is staffed with experienced addiction treatment physicians and nursing personnel who are responsible for the detoxification process to be performed successfully and under the most comfortable conditions for all of our clients. Clients remain under 24 hour medical supervision while undergoing the detox process.

After completing the detox, individuals struggling with an opiate addiction may need intense therapeutic support in a safe and structured environment. It’s crucial for all clients to have time to reflect on their issues and learn the tools necessary to overcome them. Therefore, we often recommend inpatient rehab, also called a residential rehab program, for full comprehensive treatment of an opiate addiction.

Our Opiate Rehab Center offers interactive and solution-focused therapeutic treatment delivered by a compassionate team of professionals. A Center for Addiction Recovery utilizes a blend of traditional cognitive-behavioral therapies and alternative therapies in the treatment of opiates addiction. While cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques have traditionally been the standard in the treatment of opiate dependency, we believe that this approach alone is not enough. Therefore, we integrate cognitive-behavioral therapy with dynamic experimental group work, individual therapy, group therapy and family counseling. We also utilize twelve-step recovery tools, yoga, massage therapy, acupuncture and art therapy. We believe that, together, these therapies make a huge contribution to the overall healing and recovery process.

To learn more about drug addiction treatment and program highlights visit:

Addiction Treatment Programs Overview

Drug Detox

Drug Treatment and Rehab Center

Discharge Planning

Continuum Care

List of Common Opiates in Increasing Strength

These are some of the common opiates. They are listed in order of increasing strength.

Understanding Opiate Addiction

Understanding Opiate AddictionHeroin, morphine, and some prescription painkillers (e.g., OxyContin, Vicodin, and Fentanyl) belong to the class of drugs known as opiates. Although prescription painkillers are highly beneficial medications when used as prescribed, opiates as a general class of drugs have significant abuse liability. Its prolonged use often leads to nerve damage within the brain, causing cells to stop producing endogenous opiates (natural painkillers known as endorphins). This can lead to an inability for the body to stop pain because there are no endorphins to mask the pain initially. The degeneration of the nerve cells that reduce pain can lead to a physical dependence on opiates as an external supply source. This process then leads to what is known as opiate addiction.

Opiate addiction and dependence is a chronic condition requiring sustained intervention and treatment. Opiate dependence is largely considered a progressive condition, characterized by a strong need to abuse the individuals' choice of opiate despite undeniable problems associated with its continued use. Like illicit substance abuse, dependence on opiates have been shown to be the main cause of serious legal and lifestyle issues, problems relating to loved ones and chronic health problems.

In seeking opiate treatment, please remember that medical supervision is essential in opiod drug detox circumstances where a person has been heavily reliant upon their opiate of choice for some time.