If you or a loved one is dealing with a substance use disorder, it is important to use the correct language as often as possible. Word choice can sometimes determine whether a person is willing to attend substance use treatment. The word narcotics generally relates to any illegal drug; however, now that it is legal in Oregon to have small amounts of drugs in your possession, it usually makes more sense to refer to the drug by its specific name.
At Crestview Recovery, our opioid addiction rehab program is available. In addition, we can address fentanyl, cocaine, and other types of substance use disorders. Let’s discuss the difference between opioids vs. narcotics, terms that are often misunderstood.
Difference Between Opioids and Narcotics
The difference between opioids and narcotics involves the classification of each. Technically, all opioids, including legal and illegal versions, are narcotics, but the term isn’t used very often due to negative connotations.
Opiates are natural drugs made out of opium, including morphine and heroin. Opioids are synthetic opiates such as Fentanyl. Narcotics refers to mind-altering drugs used to induce sleep.
Some people use the term “narcotics” to refer to all illegal drugs, but this is technically inaccurate. Only drugs that come from the poppy plant can be called opiates.
The main difference between opioids and narcotics is that opioids are man-made while narcotics come from nature. Narcotics have also been around for thousands of years longer than opioids.
Opioids are more potent than narcotics, which means they have a higher risk for abuse and addiction. They also come with more side effects, such as constipation, nausea, and vomiting. Narcotics tend to be less addictive and have fewer side effects.
Common Opioids in Increasing Strength
This is a list of opioids in order of strength:
What Are Opioids vs. Narcotics?
Opioids are legally used for pain treatment. They are produced from poppies, but narcotics are a wider category of any drug or medication used to make you drowsy.
Whether you’re talking about opioids vs. narcotics, both are very addictive.
Opioids produce a pain-relieving euphoria that is addictive. Doctors prescribe opioids to treat pain. However, some people develop tolerance, so it takes more of the drug to experience the same benefit. This may lead to opioid addiction. If you obsessively think about opiates and seek multiple doctors for prescriptions, you should consider seeking help at a certified recovery center such as Crestview Recovery.
In high doses, opioids can cause cardiac or respiratory arrest. Tolerance to the high that occurs following opioid use increase more quickly than tolerance to these dangerous side effects. As a result, you may overdose while trying to get high.
Doctors use intravenous naltrexone to reverse an opioid overdose.
Do You Have an Addiction to Opioids or Narcotics?
Use the following questions to determine if it’s time to seek help for an opioid or narcotics addiction:
- Have you increased your usage of opioids or narcotics over time?
- Do you have to use more of the drug to get the same effects?
- Have you stopped doing activities you enjoy to use drugs?
- Do you often think obsessively about using your drugs?
- Do you continue to use opioids or narcotics despite negative consequences?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, it’s time to seek help for your addiction. Opioid and narcotics addiction is a serious problem that can lead to death if left untreated. Seek professional help from a doctor or rehab facility as soon as possible.
Narcotics Treatment Recovery Plan
Following detox from the narcotic you use, you attend psychiatric counseling. Treatment programs, including reflection and self-awareness tools, can help you discover the source of your addiction. You also learn to break the cycle of use and avoid a relapse.
At Crestview Recovery, you go through various treatments with experienced psychiatrists. You can also get medical oversight and assistance with withdrawal symptoms.
Sometimes, you need to ask for help. Without a support system, you may have a harder time sticking to your recovery. Many clients say our recovery plan teaches them to avoid risky situations that may lead to a relapse. Additionally, our prevention strategies give you the skills to tackle sober living one day at a time.
Since opioids are a kind of narcotic, similar medications treat both categories of drugs. The following drugs help curve withdrawal symptoms:
- Subutex, which is the brand name for buprenorphine, eases withdrawal symptoms and severity.
- Methadone also makes detoxification easier.
- Naltrexone, in both pill and injection form, helps prevent relapse by blocking the effects of opioids.
- Vivitrol is an injection of naltrexone that lasts for one month and can be used as part of detoxification or long-term recovery.
Do You Need Trauma-Based Therapy?
If you have a substance use disorder and have gotten a dual diagnosis, trauma-based therapy can definitely help your recovery. Trauma can play a major role in substance use disorders. With trauma-informed care and a dual diagnosis treatment, a patient can begin the stages of healing and start on the journey to recovery.
Many relapse prevention plans also include being part of alumni or aftercare programs. When patients go back to normal life, it can be difficult to find people who truly understand what they’re going through. Being around other patients in recovery and keeping in touch with them can help them feel not alone in their recovery journey.
Family Therapy During Addiction Treatment
Family therapy creates a loving and supportive environment for a patient. In the context of family and addiction, a family therapist will explore changes in interactions within the family. Furthermore, they can provide more facts and additional education about substance use and recovery.
Medications to Treat Opioid Addiction
Suboxone or Subutex can replace opioids use to help to kick the habit for good. Drug addiction treatment at Crestview Recovery addresses the needs of each client, whatever they may be.
Since 2016, Dr. Merle Williamson, a graduate of Oregon Health Sciences University, has been the Medical Director at Crestview Recovery, bringing a rich background in addiction medicine from his time at Hazelden Treatment Center. He oversees outpatient drug and alcohol treatments, providing medical care, setting policies, detox protocols, and quality assurance measures. Before specializing in addiction medicine, he spent 25 years in anesthesiology, serving as Chair of Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and Chief of Anesthesia at Kaiser Permanente. This experience gives him a unique perspective on treating prescription drug addiction.