You may have heard of opiates and opioids and several other addictive substances. Unless you fully appreciate what these drugs are and how they can influence your life, you may not view frequent use of them as seriously as you should. If you have ever wondered about opiates definition and how it differs from the more commonly referred to opioids, read on. The knowledge can help you understand when to reach out to an opiate addiction treatment center that could help you or a loved one. Opiates Definition Opiates are drugs that come from natural derivations of the opium poppy. This opiates definition includes frequently used legal drugs, such as codeine and morphine. These medications have legitimate use as pain killers, but problems can arise when people rely on them to function or obtain them illegally. The illegal drug heroin is also an opiate. Though some people confuse these medications with opioids, there are differences in the two classes of drugs. What Is the Difference Between Opiates and Opioids? The opiates definition includes only naturally obtained products. Opioids are a class of drugs that contains opiates in addition to drugs made synthetically that influence the brain's opioid system.\u00a0The affected portion of the brain regulates the body's responses to addiction, rewards, and pain. Because opioids so strongly affect this system, those who use them can develop dependencies on the drugs. Synthetic drugs in this group include oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl. How Do Opiates Work? Opiates and opioids connect to the brain's opioid receptors in its eponymous system. These drugs target one of three receptors \u2013 mu, delta, and kappa.\u00a0Typically, the brain's neurons release peptides, including endorphins, that help ease pain and improve mood. However, opiates and opioids also react to this system to produce similar effects. The most commonly used medicine for relief of severe pain, morphine, is an alkaloid opiate. Unfortunately, the benefits of opiates come with some common side effects from taking too much of the drug or misusing it in a manner not intended. These side effects can be lethal and include the following: \tDrowsiness \tConfusion \tNot enough oxygen reaching the brain (hypoxia) that can cause death or long-term brain damage \tConstipation \tEuphoria \tSlowed breathing How Are Opiates Addictive? The addictive nature of opiates comes from their ability to trigger the brain into making you feel emotionally and physically good while relieving pain. With regular use, the body develops a physical dependence on the drugs to prevent withdrawal. Signs of drug withdrawal from opiates and opioids include the following conditions: \tAnxiety \tAgitation \tSweating \tRunny nose \tInsomnia \tDiarrhea \tVomiting \tAbdominal cramping \tNausea \tMuscle aches The number of these symptoms you feel depends on how long you've taken the drug. Longer-term use of opiates results in more severe withdrawal effects. To avoid these, many people do not stop taking the drugs. Unfortunately, this also causes problems. Continued use leads to more of the drug needed to produce the same results, a condition called drug tolerance. What Kind of Help Is Available for Opioid or Opiate Addiction? Because opiates are so addictive, you may not be able to stop regular use on your own. Luckily, you have several proven options for regulating your body's response to quitting opiates. At a medical drug detox center, you may receive medications to help you to reduce the impact of withdrawal on your body. Two options for medication assisted opiate treatment include methadone and buprenorphine, which both help your body to more easily stop taking opioids and opiates and help with maintenance. Naltrexone helps to keep you from returning to opioid addiction by preventing relapse. In addition to medication, one-on-one help such as cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy can help you return to a life without addiction. Thus, you receive comprehensive addiction treatment that can lead you to a lasting recovery. What Is the Next Step in Finding Treatment for Opiate or Opioid Addiction? Now that you know what the opiates definition is and how addictive these substances are, you can better appreciate the need for treatment to stop their use. If you or a loved one has an opiate or opioid addiction, contact us at Lucida Treatment Center call . We offer alcohol and drug detox in addition to several therapy options to help you get back your addiction-free life.