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Opiate abuse has spread rapidly across the nation over the last decade. Sadly, these drugs can shatter lives and end a person’s hopes and dreams. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize just how many opiates are available on the market. Therefore, it is critical to know what drugs are opiates. This article will explain what makes a drug an opiate and detail the various types available. In this way, you will know which to avoid if you want to prevent the risk of addiction.

The Basic Nature of Opiates

Opiates initially derived from the poppy plant in Asia. For centuries, Asian cultures used the poppy plant for healing and spiritual purposes. Once the western world traveled to the area, they quickly picked up on the power of the poppy plant. They then created a myriad of derivatives from it, including opium, morphine, and other substances that produced extremely potent effects. These substances created the first wave of opiate addiction.

Now, modern science understands their addiction risk and mostly uses them for pain relief. Many of the most common types of opiates are now synthetic derivatives called opioids. Opioids are made partially from poppy derivatives and many artificial substances. Often, these synthetic versions are more potent than the natural types due to genetic tampering and tweaking.

Thankfully, these drugs are not available over the counter due to their potency. Only people with a specific prescription can buy them. However, there is a substantial black market for prescription opiates and illegal ones. Sadly, opiate abuse and overdose rates have skyrocketed in recent years, partially due to an ignorance of what drugs are opiates.

What Drugs are Opiates? The List is Extensive

Opiates come in many shapes and sizes. As a result, it can be tough to know what drugs are opiates. Therefore, it is worth listing a few of the most common. These substances range from organic opioids to synthetic ones. There are also legal-prescription opiates and illegal ones too. Just a few of the most common types include:

  • Morphine – Commonly used to manage intensive pain
  • Methadone – Used to manage opiate addiction
  • Oxymorphone – A more intensive painkiller
  • Fentanyl – A very intense painkiller
  • Opium – An illegal drug that triggers severe effects
  • Heroin – A dangerous and illegal drug with no health benefits

Many of these substances have alternative names that may be confusing to some individuals. For example, Oxycontin is a generic form of some opiates. And street drugs, like heroin, may go by names such as smack, junk, or horse. Unfortunately, illegal opioids aren’t the only dangerous ones. Addiction may start even with legal and otherwise beneficial painkillers.

How These Drugs Trigger Addiction

Now that you know what drugs are opiates, you need to understand their addictive potential. Opiates flood the body’s opioid receptors with artificial stimulation. When this happens, the body releases a high level of endorphin chemicals. Then, the body feels extreme pleasure that can become very addictive. Sadly, the body may become dependent on these substances to feel healthy. And when a person tries to quit, they may experience severe withdrawal symptoms.

Even worse, a person may become psychologically dependent as well. For example, a person may use an opiate to manage depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, this type of use can trigger physical addiction, as well. This danger is why so many doctors prescribe minimal doses of opiates to their patients. That said, a person can develop a quick addiction both physically and emotionally after only a few doses.

And when this happens, a person may become dedicated to their drug. They may find it hard to focus on work, family, friends, and other elements of their life. Therefore, treatments such as inpatient care may be necessary. And aftercare treatments can prevent relapses, which may be deadly in many circumstances. Understanding these options can keep you safe from this real risk.

What Is the Opiate Definition?

The opioid epidemic has lead news reports for the past couple of years. Every day there are so many overdoses that emergency personnel now carry Narcan all the time and there have been programs that distribute free Narcan without questions to opioid users. Many cities have also set up safe houses that allow opioid users a place to safely take the drug. The theory being that addicts are going to abuse the drug regardless so having someplace safe to do so allows for less risk and a greater chance of intervention in the case of overdose. In the meantime, lawsuits have been initiated against pharmaceutical companies that failed to inform the public of the addictive quality of opioid pain killers. What is the opiate definition and why has it caused such practices? For opiate addiction treatment, contact Atlantic Recovery Center today.


The medical opiate definition is a narcotic sedative that depresses the central nervous system. They are used to treat severe pain. Currently, it has become acceptable to use the words “opiate” and “opioid” interchangeably. However, originally “opioid” referred to a synthetically-created substance that worked in the same way as an opiate. Opiates come from the seeds of poppies, which contain opium.


No matter how you think about the opiate definition, the results of abuse are the same for both natural and chemically-created versions. Even when using an opiate as it is prescribed by a physician, there are predictable side effects. Some of the most common include:

  • Constipation
  • Stomach upset
  • Dry mouth
  • Sedation
  • Dizziness

Some of the side effects you rarely hear about opioids include the fact that opioid use can increase depression in people who are predisposed to it. This means that many who start using the drug illegally to help alleviate symptoms of depression may ultimately be making the condition worse and setting themselves up for increased risk of suicide.

Yet another little-known phenomena experienced by those who are prescribed opioids for pain relief find that their pain actually increases. No one has found a cause for this. Furthermore, there is no way to predict who will experience this condition. Patients who experience this must look elsewhere for pain relief. The last side effect that isn’t considered is that the use of opioids can reduce the effectiveness of one’s immune system. This leaves you open to even more complications from other diseases.


The greatest danger of opiate use is the very reason society has begun to try and make the world safer for opioid users. They aren’t trying to make abuse an acceptable thing but are trying to save the lives of so many. These drugs have truly become an epidemic in every corner of the country. Morgues are busy on a daily basis with young people who have overdosed, whether accidentally or on purpose.

Addiction to these drugs is one of the strongest out there. It takes help and a strong determination to put the drug behind you. Many fall into addiction by trusting a doctor who prescribed the medication after surgery or an accident. The addiction sneaks up and takes hold before the medication is stopped. When this happens, some people seek help for the addiction but others seek the same feelings through illegal means.


Knowing the opiate definition doesn’t prevent a person from becoming addicted to this drug. Opiate addiction is one that we see often here at Atlantic Recovery Center. It is also one we know is very dangerous to try and give up alone. Don’t allow an opioid addiction to control your future one day longer. Contact us 1-866-824-5193 and get your life back. Recovery can be right around the corner.

When Treatment is Necessary

Know that you know what drugs are opiates, you should contact us at Atlantic Recovery Center. Our professionals have years of experience in their field. They can provide you with the caring and intimate treatment that you need to recover. So please call 1-866-824-5193 now to learn more. You can also verify your insurance online to ensure that your treatment is covered.