Opiates and Opioids – What’s The Difference?
Opiates are natural drugs extracted from the seed of the opium poppy. Opioids are synthetic drugs formulated to mimic opiates. The terms are now used interchangeably by doctors, despite the manufacturing differences.
Both drugs are highly addictive, harmful and can be fatal with improper use. Some are stronger than others and this often leads people on a path of progression (where they move onto stronger opiates over time).
Anyone who takes opiates can become addicted to them. It doesn’t take long for these drugs to build up in your body and create a dependency.
Someone addicted to opiates must get help. It is impossible to go cold turkey alone and overcome opiate addiction. Opiates create physical dependence. The only safe way to kick the habit is with an opiate detox managed with medication.
Call us on [number] for free, confidential advice about detoxing. We can help you start a medicated detox in as little as 24-hours.
The most common opiate addictions are to morphine, methadone, opium, heroin, and codeine. We are also seeing an increase in clinical submissions for stronger synthetic drugs like fentanyl and semi-synthetic drugs like Dihydrocodeine.
We have experience treating all opiate addictions, including:
Some of these drugs are available on the street or under prescription. Misuse of the drug always happens on the street.
Sometimes, these drugs are sold as generic unbranded drugs that are manufactured in conditions that would not be approved by any medical authority. These drugs are incredibly dangerous because you never know what’s in them.
What Is An Opiate/Opioid Detox?
Opiate detoxification is when you abstain from the opiates you are addicted to until all traces of them have left your body.
The process will take two to four weeks in most cases. The purpose of detoxing is to cleanse your body and break your immediate craving cycle.
When you become addicted to opiates and abuse them, they build up in your system and drive you crazy when you haven’t taken them. They nag at you to take them until you can no longer bear the physical turmoil and give in.
This process is nothing to be ashamed of. Opiate addictions are strong, and abstinence creates physical withdrawal symptoms that can be excruciating.
This is why it’s so important for your detox to be overseen in a safe environment by people who have been there before. Our opiate rehab centres specialise in opiate and opioid detoxification and will manage your withdrawal symptoms with medication.
Medically Managed Opiate Detox
All opiate detoxes are managed with withdrawal medication. Withdrawal medication substitutes the opiate you are addicted to with a non-addictive and safer alternative. This will ease your cravings and reduce your withdrawal symptoms while giving your body time to cleanse and rid itself of the opiate.
Medically managed opiate detoxes take place in a clinical environment. This is the safest place for your detox. It also gives you a comfortable and secure place to recover in, giving you a break from your normal surroundings.
Outpatient Opiate Detox
If staying in residential clinic accommodation is impractical or uneconomical, then you can choose to detox as an outpatient. This means you will stay at home for your opiate detox and be looked after by yourself or a loved one. The risk of relapse is higher because you will be able to access your opiate of choice.
Detoxing in this way is less safe and less successful; however, it can be useful for people who are at the early stages of addiction and those at low risk of relapse. Your suitability for this kind of detox depends on your circumstances.
Why Are Opiates & Opioids So Addictive?
Opiates and opioids are some of the most addictive substances on the planet. If you are addicted to them, you may be wondering why.
Opiates are a type of psychoactive drug. The addictive properties are so powerful that anyone who takes them is at risk of developing an addiction.
You will know your addiction as something that started out giving you pleasure before it progressed into something that you can’t live without. This horrible dependency may have already changed your life in ways you resent and regret deeply.
The reason this change happened is that opioids release pleasure endorphins in your brain. Endorphins are feel-good neurotransmitters.
These endorphins travel along neural pathways. The more opiates you take, the more neural pathways get created dedicated to carrying these endorphins.
These pathways begin to break down over time if they are without the endorphins. Your brain demands you take opiates to release the endorphins it now needs to keep the neural pathways flowing.
The terrible truth is that the more you take opiates, the more pathways are created. This is why addictions always get worse if untreated.
If you are addicted to opiates we can help you break free from your addiction. Call us on [number] for free, confidential advice.
What Is Classed As Opiate And Opioid Abuse?
Opiate abuse can be recognised by:
- Taking opiates for pleasure
- Taking opiates not prescribed to you
- Mixing opiates with other drugs
- Taking opiates for euphoric effects
- Popping painkillers even when you’re not in pain
- Lying to your doctor about pain so you can get more drugs
If you are showing early symptoms of opiate addiction, you must seek advice from a rehab centre like Sensatori Space. An opiate detox now could nip the problem in the bud before it develops into anything sinister.
Would I Benefit From An Opiate Or Opioid Detox?
If you are addicted to or have a dependency on opiates, then you will need specialist medical help to overcome your addiction.
You cannot possibly detox on your own without medication because your withdrawal symptoms will be too powerful to ignore. They will overcome your desire to get clean and you will relapse and start using eventually.
We can say this with certainty because we have seen it hundreds of times before.
The sooner you start your detox for opiates the better. Opiate addictions get worse over time and most people start using stronger drugs within just a few months.
The good news is no matter the extent or type of opiate addiction you have, a detox can help you get clean and turn your life around. We are here to help you get started with the best treatments and a medically-managed detox.
Is Detoxing From Opiates And Opioids Painful?
This is a question we get asked a lot. The truth is detoxing from opiates will give you unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. However, your withdrawal symptoms will be manageable with the right withdrawal medication.
Withdrawal medication forms an important part of any detox because it replaces the substance you are addicted to. It doesn’t completely alleviate withdrawal symptoms, but it does satisfy your body and brain to an extent.
The crucial aspect of medication is it replaces the opiate you are addicted to, giving your body the time it needs to detox. During this period, your body and brain will begin to depend on opiates less and less. As for the medication itself, this will be 100% non-addictive because you will be weaned off it slowly.
Here are some of the medications we can use:
- Buprenorphine (Subutex)
You will recognise that some of these are also opiates. This is normal and you will be prescribed a medication that safely substitutes your opiate.
Is Detoxing Safe?
When it comes to safety, there are two aspects of detoxing we need to consider:
- Your detoxing environment
If your detoxing environment is not secure, there is no way you can be expected to abstain from the substances you are addicted to. You may be able to do it, but in our experience, it is far better to stay in a secure rehab centre.
Your normal social environment may also foster and fuel your addiction. This is especially true of people living in poverty or unprivileged areas. If this applies to you, your opiate detox can be made safe by staying in residential accommodation.
- Your medical needs
Everyone experiences addiction differently and everyone has different medical needs. You should undergo a clinical assessment before starting any detox. This is something we provide as part of all detox programmes.
Detoxing will give you unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. These may include vomiting, extreme dehydration, loss of appetite, depression, anxiety and thoughts of self-harm. You must have the support you need to address these.
The Symptoms And Stages Of Opiate And Opioid Withdrawal
If you stop taking opiates without medication, your body will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms within just a few hours. These symptoms will eventually reach such a point where you have no choice but to use again.
This is the horrible cycle of drug addiction — that even though you want to stop, you can’t no matter how hard you try.
Here are the early-stage symptoms of withdrawal:
- Muscle aches
- Stomach cramps
- Skin scrawling
Here are the later-stage symptoms of withdrawal:
- Intense cravings
- Intense skin crawling
- Mood swings
- Tics and twitches
- Heightened anxiety
- Weight loss
- Inability to keep food down
- Extreme restlessness
Some of the most dangerous symptoms include:
- Thoughts of self-harm
- Extreme dehydration
- Extreme malnutrition
- Extreme weight loss
- Heart palpitations
The danger of withdrawal without adequate medication is why undergoing a medicated detox under the supervision of an experienced medical team is so important. Without the help and support of people around you, relapse is extremely likely. We know this because we have seen it hundreds of times before.
If you want to get clean, you mustn’t detox without the help of medical experts. It is unsafe to go cold turkey – and it also never works. Call us on [number] for free, confidential advice, and to start your detox the right way.
Is It Possible To Have a Negative Reaction To Withdrawal?
Having now read the symptoms and stages of opiate and opioid withdrawal, you may be concerned about having a negative reaction yourself.
The truth is that so long as your detox is supervised by an experienced team, there is no risk to a severe negative reaction.
Withdrawal symptoms are a normal reaction to a detox. You can expect to experience at least some of the early-stage symptoms during your detox. Rest assured that when you do, we will be there to help you through them.
What Pharmaceutical Medications Could I Be On?
The NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) publishes guidelines and recommendations for medications to treat opiate addiction.
Here are some of the medications approved for use:
- Buprenorphine (Subutex)
The right withdrawal medication for your particular case depends on the type and extent of your addiction, your age, your background and your physical and mental health.
We provide free clinical assessments to those who need a detox. This clinical assessment will answer all our questions and help us make an informed decision.
Rest assured that we do not take our medication decision lightly – your medication will be administered and managed in such a way that it does not become an addiction itself. Your detox programme will also wean you off the medication slowly.
What Are The Risks Of An Opiate Relapse After Detox?
If anyone has told you that you can be cured of opiate addiction, you have been misinformed. Opiate addiction is a lifelong addiction – the symptoms, however, can be brought under control and managed very well.
The risk of relapse after an opiate detox depends on a few factors, some of which are under our control and some of which are under yours. Here’s a breakdown:
Relapse factors under your control:
- Who you associate with
Relapse factors under our control:
- The quality of your detox
- Your medication
- Ongoing help and support
It is also important to consider where you undergo your detox.
The safest place for your detox is in the care of one of our rehab centres. This eliminates the risk of relapse during your detox and gives you the best opportunity to heal.
If you undergo your detox at home, you will be at a higher risk of relapse, and we would only recommend this treatment if you are at low risk.
In terms of ongoing help and support, this means us being available when you need someone to talk to. There are several addiction helplines you can call but our addiction helpline provides free advice and is the best place to get help. We will also connect you to your local drug support network for guidance during your recovery.
What Happens After An Opiate Detox?
After completing your opiate detox, your addiction will be under control and you will be able to abstain from opiates to some degree. You will stay on withdrawal medication for a few months to keep your cravings at bay.
Depending on the level of help you need, you may choose to undergo an intensive rehab programme as part of your detox. This will involve receiving therapy to tackle the behavioural and social sides of addiction that detoxing alone doesn’t touch.
It is estimated that around 40% of individuals will relapse after detox if they do not receive therapy to address the behavioural and social sides of addiction. For most patients, we always recommend some form of therapy. This could be behavioural therapy, guided self-help or talking therapy. Whatever suits you.
As a general rule of thumb, the longer you stay in treatment, the better your outcome will be. Some people can make do with detoxing and quit opiates forever, but other people need more help and support to achieve the same outcome.
Why Choose Sensatori Space For Your Detox?
Sensatori Space has helped hundreds of people overcome their addiction to opiates and opioids. We can help you do the same with a supervised, medically-managed detox and the finest aftercare from our compassionate people.
Our rehab centres offer:
- Affordable detoxing
- Rapid and immediate admission
- Fully medicated opiate detoxes
- Inpatient and outpatient programmes
- Innovative relapse prevention treatments
- Educational workshops
- Family support
- Free aftercare for one year
We have the expertise and facilities to help you overcome your addiction for good. This starts with detoxing to cleanse your body.
We aim to make sure you have everything you need to reset and rebuild your life. If you or someone you love needs help for addiction to heroin, tramadol, morphine, codeine or any other opiate, get in touch to start your recovery journey.
Call us on [number] for free, confidential advice. Everyone is welcome at Sensatori Space and we will go out of our way to help you.
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Alcohol Addiction FAQ's
Where can I find my nearest rehab centre?
We offer locations for alcohol rehab centres nationwide, call our team on 0333 444 0434. They will be able to advise you on treatment options available in your area.
How soon will you be able to get me into rehab?
This all depends on your personal circumstances. We ask that you contact our team on 0333 444 0434 so that we can fully understand your situation and needs.
We’ll talk you through a short telephone questionnaire designed to help us provide you with the best possible care.
We then set a date and time for your admission and you can look forward to a new start in life.
Could my mental Health be linked to my addiction?
Absolutely yes, so many people are not even aware they have a mental health problem and many people don’t make the connection in children and mental health. The alcohol can become a ‘solution’ for a persons mental health. At the start it will seem as if the alcohol is quieting the mind, but in time as the addiction progresses it will only add to any mental health problems the person has. It is also difficult to diagnose a person with mental health while under the influence of alcohol.
Is it true that alcohol affects sexual performance and harm an unborn babies?
As well as being directly related to many serious diseases, drinking large amounts of alcohol can also lead to poor sexual performance, and it can harm an unborn baby. If you have an alcohol related problem, there are many ways in which you can get help to reduce your drinking, and there are also many services that you can use that will help you stop altogether. Definition The problems associated with alcoholism, or alcohol dependence, are wide ranging, and can be physical, psychological, and social.
Is rehab a cure for addiction?
There is no definitive cure for addiction. However, rehab can provide patients with the skills needed to successfully manage their addiction and remain sober. Recovery from addiction is never over and patients will need to work on their ability to avoid relapse for the rest of their lives. A high quality addiction rehab programme sets patients up for this process.
Am I an alcoholic? What is the difference between casual drinking and alcohol addiction?
Most people can enjoy a casual night out with friends, have one or two drinks and then stop, and they might not drink again for several days. They enjoy a drink, but they don’t NEED it.
If you feel that you would like to talk to one of our experts and see how we can help you, call us on 0333 444 0434.