Opioids are the umbrella term that includes natural opiates, semi-synthetic opioids, and synthetic opioids created in a laboratory. Opioids dull the senses and relieve pain, acting as pain relievers or anesthesia. Opioids include natural opiates, semi-synthetic opioids, and synthetics opioids. Some people refer to opioids as synthetically generated narcotics and to opiates as narcotics delivered from natural plants. Our language is evolving; lately many people, especially journalists and politicians, tend to refer to all of these drugs as “opioids.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, in 2019, opioids dispensing rates continued to remain very high in the USA:
- In 5% of U.S. counties, enough opioid prescriptions were dispensed for every person to have one.
- 153 million Opioid Painkiller prescriptions were written in 2019
- The overall opioid dispensing rate in 2019 was 46.7 prescriptions per 100 people, and some counties had rates that were six times higher than that.
Do you know the difference between Opiates and Opioids?
Some people carefully distinguish between these two groups of narcotic drugs when they speak about them. Other people use the two terms interchangeably or prefer one over the other. Our language is evolving; lately many people, especially journalists and politicians, tend to refer to all of these drugs as “opioids.”
Both opiates and opioids are used medically. They may be prescribed for pain relief, anesthesia, cough suppression, diarrhea suppression, and for treatment of opiate/opioid use disorder. Both opiates and opioids may also be used illicitly by people with substance use disorder. The main difference is in how opiates and opioids are made.
The poppy plant creates opiates. Opiates are labeled as “natural” because nature creates the active ingredient molecules. Common opiates include opium, morphine, and codeine; both made directly from poppy plants.
An opioid is a substance (molecule) that is synthetic or partly synthetic. This means the active ingredients are created chemically. Opioids act just like opiates in the human body because of their similar molecules. Common opioids are OxyContin, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and others.
Opiates are narcotics derived from the opium poppy (natural).
Opioids are narcotics that include natural opiates and semi-synthetic opioids and synthetic opioids created in a laboratory.
Sometimes people refer to opioids as synthetically generated narcotics and opiates – narcotics delivered from natural plants.
What Are Opioids?
Opioids are the umbrella term that includes natural opiates, semi-synthetic opioids, and synthetic opioids created in a laboratory. Opioids dull the senses and relieve pain, acting as pain relievers or anesthesia. Opioids include natural opiates, semi-synthetic opioids, and synthetics opioids.
Opioids attach to proteins called opioid receptors on nerve cells in the brain, spinal cord, gut, and other parts of the body. The opioids block pain messages sent from the body through the spinal cord to the brain when it happens. While opioids can effectively relieve pain, they carry some risks and can be highly addictive. The risk of addiction is especially high when opioids are used to manage chronic pain over a long period of time.
Types of Opioids :
- Naturally Occurring Opiates: Opium, Morphine, Codeine, Heroin
- Semi-synthetics opioids: Vicodin (Hydrocodone), Percocet (Oxycodone), Oxycontin (Long-acting Oxycodone)
- Synthetic (Man-made) Opioids: Methadone, Fentanyl
The pharmaceutical industry has created more than 500 different opioid molecules. Some are widely used medically; some are not.
Well-known opioids used medically in the U.S:
- Dextromethorphan (available in the U.S. without prescription as, e.g., NyQuil, Robitussin, TheraFlu, Vicks)
- Dextropropoxyphene (e.g., Darvocet-N, Darvon)
- Loperamide (e.g., Imodium)
- Hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin)
- Oxycodone (e.g., Oxycontin, Percocet)
- Oxymorphone (e.g., Opana)
- Meperidine (e.g., Demerol)
- Methadone (e.g., Dolophine)
- Fentanyl/fentanil (e.g., Ultiva, Sublimaze, Duragesic patch)
- Carfentanyl/carfentanil (e.g., Wildnil, for veterinary use)
If you are prescribed opioids, consider following the safety tips below:
- Talk to your doctor. Make sure you have considered all alternative pain-relieving medications that don’t carry an addiction risk. If opioids remain the best option, ask how to minimize the risks and side effects. Provide information on your medical conditions — and if you have taken opioids in the past, tell your physician how they affected you. Also tell your physician if you have a history of addiction to drugs or alcohol; people predisposed to alcohol abuse may be more susceptible to misusing opioids.
- Watch out for side effects. Some side effects of opioids may be mild, such as sleepiness and constipation, while others, including shallow breathing, slowed heart rate, and loss of consciousness, can be serious and may be signs of an overdose. Ask your physician what you should be aware of and what you can do to prevent potential problems. If you experience possible symptoms of an overdose, contact your doctor or call 911.
- Take opioids only as directed. Follow your physician’s directions, and read the prescription label. If you take other medications, ask your physician whether it is also safe to take opioids.
Also, ask your doctor about other pain management alternatives, including:
- Combination therapy. Opioids by themselves may not always fully control your pain. Combining opioids with other medications or nonmedication treatments, while under the care of a physician, can improve your pain management and result in your needing a lower dosage of opioids.
- Nondrug therapies. Many people find relief with alternative therapies, such as biofeedback, meditation, massage, and acupuncture. You may also get relief with interventional therapies such as nerve blocks, or surgical procedures in which the nerves causing the pain are cut. A physician anesthesiologist or other pain medicine specialist can help you find what works best for you.
- Injections or implants. If you are having muscle spasms or nerve pain, an injection of local anesthetics or other medications can help short-circuit your pain. If you have chronic pain in your back, arms, or legs, a pain medicine specialist might suggest spinal cord stimulation, in which a device is implanted in your back and blocks pain by delivering electric pulses to your nerves and spinal cord.
What Are Opiates?
Opiates include substances derived from Opium, a chemical that occurs naturally in poppy seeds and plants. These drugs are used clinically for treating mild to severe pain. Unfortunately, due to their intensely calming effects, Opioids have tremendously high rates of abuse, which can lead to addiction in many cases.
What is Heroin?
Heroin is the most popular opiate and a Schedule I narcotic under the Federal laws of the United States (no medicinal purpose, highly abused). Genuine “heroin” is an opioid. Heroin is still synthetic, even though it uses molecules from the opium plant in its synthesis process. People can use the terms interchangeably. On the street, “heroin” may mean synthetic, natural, or semi-synthetic compounds. Additionally, people may call manufactured opioids like Oxycontin “synthetic heroin,” adding more confusion. Many references currently use opioids to refer to all opium-like substances (including opiates and opioids) and limit the use of “opiates” to only natural opium poppy-derived drugs like morphine. The brutal fact is both are highly addictive and can be life-threatening when the dependency becomes out of control. The best option to avoiding the possibility of fatally overdosing is finding a treatment center that can provide care from detox to residential care to outpatient programs.
If you or someone you know is struggling with opioids or opiates addiction, contact CNV Detox in Los Angeles, California, for detoxification and residential treatment.
Unfortunately, the war on opioid addiction has climbed to an all-time high. More and more people are struggling to overcome misuse. In essence, the first step toward help is detox. By and large, a person will experience terrifying withdrawal symptoms. Usually, understanding the opiate withdrawal timeline process and receiving help from a professional facility make things safer and easier. At CNV Detox, we provide ethical detox and residential treatment services so that patients can enjoy long-term recovery.
What Are Opiates?
Opiates come from the opium poppy plant. They are narcotic drugs that bind to receptors in the brain. This results in depression of the central nervous system, which relieves pain.
Presently, many opioids are given by prescription. For instance, morphine, fentanyl, codeine, and oxycodone are just a few opioid medicines that are used to treat chronic pain. On the other hand, heroin is an example of an illegal opiate.
Why Are Opiates So Addictive?
A 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that approximately 10 million people in the United States misuse opioid painkillers every year. Human nature is made to maximize pleasure. Therefore, individuals do anything to relieve pain. Due to the ability to quickly disrupt chemicals in the brain, opioids are extremely dangerous and addictive.
Also, these drugs are readily available, and prescriptions are not illegal. Effects on the body are simple to hide, which makes misuse easier as well. Although certain drugs take a while to get a user hooked, a person can almost immediately become addicted to opioids.
Opiate Withdrawal Signs and Symptoms
Withdrawal occurs when a person stops taking opiates after his or her body relies on them to get “high” for the day. Commonly, symptoms appear within 12 hours of taking the last dose.
Signs and Symptoms
- Runny nose
- Dilated pupils
- Body aches
- Rapid breathing
- High blood pressure
Benefits of Medical Detox Before Treatment
After a person admits that a problem exists, detox is the first step toward recovery. In essence, detox clears the body of toxins. It can be a painful and strenuous process. Without medical supervision, results may be fatal.
Opioid withdrawal symptoms are severe. As a result, many people relapse and are likely to overdose without supervision. With medical detox, a person is monitored for physical problems.
Also, certain medications are prescribed to help with symptoms, including anxiety. For instance, methadone and buprenorphine are used as opioid replacements. In this matter, the body is fooled into believing that the substance is still in the body so that withdrawal symptoms are lowered. Luckily, doctors can use these medications and taper them off slowly so that results are not as harsh on a patient’s body. Also, they help to control cravings without the sense of the “high” that comes from problem opioids.
Opiate Withdrawal Timeline
Different kinds of opioids are abused. Usually, the opiate withdrawal timeline begins 8 to 30 hours, and 10 days after the last dose. However, there is a general timeline that is helpful when trying to understand what to expect.
Day 1: Opiate Withdrawal Timeline
Day 1 opiate withdrawal includes the time up until 24 hours after the last dose. Normally, this time frame includes withdrawal for opioids like heroin. A person can expect several symptoms.
- Muscle pains
- Low appetite
Day 2: Opiate Withdrawal Timeline
Day 2 opiate withdrawal occurs 24 to 48 hours after the last dose. During this time, withdrawal begins for opioids like oxycodone. A person can expect to experience even more symptoms at this point.
- Panic attacks
- Excessive sweating
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Similar symptoms from the first day
Day 3: Opiate Withdrawal Timeline
Day 3 opiate withdrawal symptoms are at their most active, especially for short-acting medication. A person may begin to exhibit even more symptoms.
- Similar symptoms from the first two days
Day 4: Opiate Withdrawal Timeline
Throughout day 4 opiate withdrawal, a person who misuses long-acting medication will suffer the most. Symptoms may be quite severe and disturbing.
- Enlarged pupils
- Extreme tiredness
- Similar symptoms from the first three days
Days 5 to 7: Opiate Withdrawal Timeline
The next few days bring similar withdrawal symptoms as the other four. Eventually, when the weekends, a person may notice that withdrawal starts to subside.
Long-Term Withdrawal Symptoms
Indeed, a person may experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms for months after quitting opiates.
- Sleep issues
- Opiate cravings
Factors That Affect The Opiate Withdrawal Timeline
The opiate withdrawal timeline mentioned above may be altered and affected by different factors. These include the following:
- How many opiates are in a person’s system at the time detox begins
- The severity of dependence
- A patient’s health
- The type of detox being used
Reasons to Choose A Medical Detox Facility
When a person chooses medical detox at CNV, he or she may receive medication to lower the severity of his or her symptoms. They are used to shorten detox as well. Oftentimes, medical detox provides emotional support. Additional therapies may include massage or yoga. When a patient feels relaxed, it becomes easier to get through the process. Also, being able to manage symptoms in a better way than with an at-home detox makes opiate cravings more tolerable. This lowers the probability of relapse and overdose.
When Other Conditions Exist
Also, certain withdrawal symptoms may be dangerous to a person’s health. For example, if a person has extreme diarrhea or vomiting, dehydration may result. Without medical supervision, this can be threatening and lead to other problems. In addition, underlying medical conditions may be addressed. For instance, a patient may be battling a mental illness along with opioid addiction. Under medical detox, doctors evaluate patients and develop individualized plans that address these personal issues.
The Importance of Pursuing a Treatment Program After Detox
Detox is just the first step towards sobriety. However, recovery does not stop at this point. For long-term recovery, it is essential to attend a formal course of treatment after detox is completed. In other words, this helps the patient identify triggers and uncover a healthy way to deal with them. It is essential to receive care for other underlying problems as well. In fact, without support and tools to keep a person on the right path, successful recovery into the future is not possible.
Integrated Care to Fight Opioid Relapse
Each person is different. Therefore, individualized treatment plans are necessary. Also, treating the “whole” individual raises the likelihood of a successful attempt at long-term sobriety. Inpatient care provides a more strict regimen, but a trained and experienced staff is available 24/7 for problems that arise. At CNV Detox, we are ready to help patients continue through detox into a successful treatment program.
Various Therapies Designed to Meet Individual Needs
In light of the challenges that each person faces, there are a variety of therapies that help patients kick the opiate habit.
This offers ways to change negative behaviors. In other words, a therapist helps a patient build coping skills to deal with triggers and cravings.
Group sessions help patients learn and grow with each other. Learning that people share similar challenges provides support. Also, patients can practice all of the skills that they have been learning.
Addiction affects more than the person who misuses drugs. Opioid misuse can cause terrible rifts in relationships with friends and family. During family counseling sessions, communication skills are heightened, and healthy boundaries are set. As a result, things become mended.
Sometimes, unconventional therapies work best to treat a person’s body, mind, and spirit. Things like yoga, massage, and other relaxation techniques are practiced so that a person can become calm, can healthily handle triggers, and can prevent relapse.
Benefits of Opiate Misuse Treatment
- Development of healthy coping mechanisms to prevent relapse
- Reach sobriety goals
- Create a network of support and security
- Identify underlying issues that cause substance abuse, including mental health problems
- Rebuild relationships that become strained during misuse
Where to Turn When Severe Withdrawal Symptoms Occur
When individual withdrawal symptoms are at their worst, it is important to have a way to handle them. Therefore, it is advised to work with a medical detox facility. At CNV Detox, we are ready to help a person take the first step toward sobriety. When an individual is ready to enjoy a life of recovery, our staff is prepared to join every step of the way.
At our California rehab, an individual can begin a medical detox and complete further treatment. Our goal is to offer support and healing to all patients and their loved ones. Therefore, each patient enjoys a calm environment, medical supervision, and a variety of therapy options. This ensures a successful recovery into the long term. For more information, contact us today.