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Opiates vs. Opioids
Commonly used interchangeably, opiates and opioids are a family of narcotic drugs with medicinal properties prescribed to treat pain and cough; however, they can be used at higher doses as an anesthetic or in the treatment of opiate and opioid use disorders. The difference between the two drugs lies in how they are made.

Unlike opioids, opiates are drugs with extracts from natural plant matter, poppies. Drugs that fall into the opiate category are:

  • Heroin
  • Opium
  • Codeine
  • Morphine

Opioids are synthetic, meaning they are made in a lab and are not derivative of natural plant matter. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone
  • Methadone
  • Fentanyl

Both groups are known as heavily addictive narcotics and can be toxic if abused or misused.

How Opiates Affect the Mind and Body

Opiate abuse and addiction can cause many dangerous effects on physical and mental health. Receiving help for your addiction is critical in preventing irreversible damage. Once you become addicted, these drugs might deplete your social life and relationships as the effects of the drugs cause you to withdraw from their regular activity.

Opiates, like heroin, can cause immense daytime drowsiness where users begin to nod off or experience bouts of unconsciousness. Opiate abuse can also cause delusion, confusion, impaired judgment, nausea, and euphoria.

Both short and long-term use of opiates can have devastating impacts on a person’s body, including fatal overdose. Using opiates for extended periods puts a person at high risk of physical dependence, slowed breathing, constipation, liver damage, and weakened immune system. With slowed and labored breathing, the lack of oxygen to the brain can leave permanent psychological damage.

The risk of Hepatitis C, HIV, and AIDS is introduced when the drug is injected. Not only can it spread incurable diseases if needles are shared, but the act of injection opiates has also been known to cause inflammation in the lining of the heart.

Withdrawal from opiates can be excruciating and dangerous; quitting these highly addictive drugs on your own is discouraged due to the damaging effects they can have on the body. Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) by medical professionals usually includes a period of tapering off drug intake over time or utilizing alternate opiates in a residential or medical setting.

Do I Have an Opiate Addiction?

If the drug was prescribed to you by your doctor, it could become especially difficult to identify an addiction to opiates. Here are some signs you may have an addiction that will benefit from treatment:

  • You have withdrawn from friends and family
  • Experienced changes in mood during or before use
  • Attempts to stop using the drug were unsuccessful due to withdrawal symptoms: nausea, vomiting, muscle and bone pain, uncontrollable leg movement, cold flashes,
    severe cravings
  • Spend large amounts of money and time acquiring opiates

If you are unsure, a substance abuse specialist can also conduct a screening to evaluate if you have an addiction and to what extent.

Does My Loved One Have an Opiate Addiction?

Determining whether a loved one is dealing with opiate addiction is never as easy as just asking them. Various signs that may give you a better idea of if your loved one is abusing opiates include:

  • Making excuses when you try to spend time with them
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion
  • Loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed
  • Weight loss
  • Depressed mood

Treatments and Recovery Tools for Opiate Drug Addiction

Rancho Milagro has adopted the modern approach to opiate drug addiction by addressing its effects on an individual’s mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. Our treatment plans are customized to each resident in our care. These practices include:

  • Medical Care: As mentioned above, withdrawal symptoms of opiate drug addiction can
    cause harmful effects to an individual’s body, making it challenging to reach sobriety.
    Services such as medically assisted detox treatment can help with the physical aspects
    of addiction while in a safe, trusted environment with around-the-clock care and
    monitoring.
  • Behavioral Support: Withdrawal symptoms are not only physical; that’s where therapy
    and counseling can help with the difficulties of being newly sober. We can help by
    providing both group and individualized therapy, equine therapy, and fitness programs to
    identify and treat underlying conditions. Sometimes undiagnosed or improperly treated
    conditions are the root cause of addiction.
  • Social Support: Because it is so common for those addicted to opiates to withdraw from
    their loved ones, we find slowly introducing them back into the community and support
    system key. As residents of our facility, patients will be able to bond with others in group
    activities and will have the opportunity to help with our animal rescue program. We also
    visit local NA meetings, allowing an opportunity to expand social communities.
  • Comprehensive Therapy Services: Residents receive a wide range of therapy models
    at Rancho Milagro Recovery, including trauma therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy.
    There are even activities such as mindfulness exercises, deep breathing, yoga, and
    animal therapy.

Rancho Milagro Recovery treats addictions to both categories of drugs with thorough treatment plans in a supportive, secluded facility in Temecula, California. We will track your progress and celebrate with you through every stage, even after graduating from our program.

Opiate addiction can cause harmful effects on your mind, body, and spirit. Rancho Milagro Recovery has an experienced, dedicated staff that will work around the clock to support your healing in every area affected by addiction through different therapies, activities, and professional advice. To learn more about our treatment programs, call us today at (951) 526-4582.

Are You Addicted to Heroin?


Do you or a loved one show signs and symptoms of being addicted ? Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs available. It provides a first high that will forever be unattainable again, and users continuously chase after that feeling. Eventually this high becomes the “normal” for addicts, and they are unable to believe they can function without it. In addition to being extremely addictive, heroin is extremely dangerous. This drug is a high risk factor for overdoses and Fentanyl lacing. This is a serious issue. If you are a loved one is a heroin user, please consider treatment

If you or your loved one is addicted or struggling with Heroin, please seek professional help. Detox from heroin needs to be monitored in a treatment facility.

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