Opiates and Opioids


The difference between Opiates and Opioids.

There is a difference. It’s a common misconception that there is no difference, or that the two are one in the same. In fact, Opiates and Opioids are VERY similar.

I’ll start with Opiates. According to Wikipedia: Opiate’s are analgesic alkaloid compounds found naturally in the opium poppy plant Papaver somniferum. The psychoactive compounds found in the opium plant include morphine, codeine, and thebaine.

The name Papaver somniferum or the Opium Poppy, in Latin, means “Sleep bringing poppy.” This obviously refers to the sedative inflicting properties. This species is the only one of its class in which it is grown on a large scale. Its value is known for legitimate futures, such as Poppy seeds, Poppyseed oil, and ornamental purposes, other than the illicit markets.The average content of morphine occurring naturally in the plant is up to 10%. Morphine is the most predominant alkaloid, (or naturally occurring chemical compound,) found in the opium poppy.

The opium poppy is the root source of ALL Opioids which are considered Opiates. So, in essence, all Opioids are Opiates, but not all Opiates are Opioids.

Opioids, on the contrary, are artificially made rather than extracted from opium. All Opioids are synthetically made and primarily used in medicine for the treatment of pain. Side effects include sedation, respiratory depression, constipation, and the BIGGEST reason for addiction, Euphoria. The highest risk of Overdose is due to the effect the drugs have on the respiratory system. Examples of Opioids are oxycodone, hydrocodone, and hydromorphone.



  1. References and pictures https://en.wikipedia.org