Opiates and Opioids

The difference between Opiates and Opioids.


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

Ill start with Opiates. According to wikipeida: 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 it’s class in which it is grown on a large scale. It’s value is known for legitamite futures, such as, Poppy seeds, Poppy seed oil, and ornamental porposes other then the illicit markets.The average content of morphine occuring 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 artifically made rather then 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 respirtory system. Examples of Opioids are oxycodone, hydrocodone, and hydromorphone.



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

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