Opiates vs. Opioids: What’s the Difference?

Bottom Line:


Opiates vs. opioids - while they come from different sources, they are similar in a very specific way.


Both opioids and opiates have caused millions of people looking for pain relief to enter a cycle of addiction.


And the truth is that many of the people who are currently addicted to opioids weren’t recreational drug users looking for their next high…


They were people who were prescribed these drugs by their doctors to treat their chronic pain.


Why it Matters:


To understand more about how this addiction epidemic happened, it's helps to understand the differences between opioids and opiates.


Opiates describe drugs derived from the flowering opium poppy plant.


Morphine is an example of an opiate.


These drugs have been linked to physical dependence, increased tolerance, and addiction.


Opioids are synthetic or made in a lab.


When opioid receptors in the brain become activated, they produce feelings of pleasure and pain (all opioid drugs act on these receptors).


Some are up to 50 times more powerful than heroin.


It goes without saying that these drugs are highly addictive and dangerous.


Opioid drugs used to treat pain include oxycodone and hydrocodone.


Oxycodone exhibits the highest risk of abuse and poses the most significant dangers.


It affects the nervous system in the same way as heroin.


Next Steps:


Current medical guidelines no longer recommend the use of opioids for most spinal pain.


If you're struggling with pain, movement-based care, like chiropractic, is often the best way to accelerate the healing process and put yourself in a position for long-term relief.


Both the research and results we’ve seen at our drug-free pain management clinic Clear Lake don’t lie.


Call us today if you want to explore a relief path that doesn't include medications. 




Science Sources:


Chiropractic for Treatment of Low Back Pain. JMPT. 2018.

Understanding the Opioid Overdose Epidemic. CDC. 2022.

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  • "This was my first chiropractic visit and I will definitely continue to see Dr. Venessa! The space is beautiful and clean. The person working reception was welcoming, knowledgeable and seemed happy to answer my questions. I was able to complete my paperwork before coming in so there was no wait. Dr. Venessa asked me some questions and did a sort of assessment before my adjustment. She kept me informed of what she would be doing and has a nice bedside manner so nothing seemed awkward. She finished my adjustment and I checked out. All in all I had a great experience in the office but what happened after was even better- my energy increased like crazy! At first I didn’t even consider it might have been from my adjustment. I was just talking with my husband when he asked if I thought it may have been from my chiro appointment so I googled it and apparently that’s common! So again, very happy with my experience and I will be back!"
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  • "The lead chiropractor is amazing. After being adjusted I felt considerably better. Dr. Bartholomew is kind, gentle, and is a good listener."
    Jenelle Braun
  • "Dr. Bartholomew is absolutely the best. She is caring, compassionate and holistic. Clear Lake is lucky to have such an incredible resource. Be prepared to be amazed!"
    Avalon Anderson
  • "Dr. Venessa is great with her patients. She takes the time to address all of your needs. Not only will she adjust you, but she will also give you exercises that you can do that will help. Her staff is very friendly and helpful. They also have 2 massage therapists in the office and are running a great special this month."
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  • "Dr Bartholomew was wonderful in helping me feel better and helping with my shoulder issues. Being an ex football player, she had no issues diagnosing my concerns and was quick to make adjustments that had immediate results.
    She was very considerate of my time and has wonderful bedside manor. You will not be disappointed."
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