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Different Types of Opiates

Opiate addiction is a growing problem in the United States. For many people dealing with drug addiction, a prescription for a legal opiate opens the door to a problem with abuse. If you or a loved one is dealing with an addiction to opiates, understanding the different types may be the first step in overcoming the habit. Patients who undergo opiate detox in Boca Raton are treated for addiction to these three types of drugs.

Natural Opiates

As the name suggests, natural opiates occur in nature, often in the poppy plant. They are nitrogen-based chemical compounds that appear in the resin of opiate plants, and like all opiates, they bind to receptors in the peripheral and central nervous systems and the digestive tract. Natural opiates are highly addictive and include drugs like morphine, codeine, and thebaine. These opiates may be used in medical treatments, but are closely regulated.

Semi-Synthetic Opiates

Semi-synthetic opiates are engineered in a lab using materials from natural opiates. Hydromorphone, hydrocodone, and oxycodone are all semi-synthetic opiates, as is heroin, which is created using morphine. Semi-synthetic opiates are also extremely addictive, and when those used in medical treatments are prescribed, they may be abused. Some people who become addicted to prescribed semi-synthetic opiates, such as oxycodone, eventually switch to heroin use because the street drug is less expensive.

Fully Synthetic Opiates

Fully synthetic opiates are entirely man-made to mimic the effect of other opiates. They include drugs like tramadol and fentanyl. Some man-made fully synthetic opiates, such as methadone, are helpful during opiate detox from drugs like heroin, as they can ease the withdrawal symptoms. However, despite their use in detox and recovery, it is still possible to develop an addiction to fully synthetic opiates, and patients can experience methadone withdrawal and withdrawal from other synthetic opiates. The staff members at inpatient detox facilities will determine if fully synthetic opiates should play any role in managing withdrawal symptoms from other types of opiates.


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