What Is the Strongest Opiate?
Opiate and opioids are two terms used interchangeably. Opiates and opioids are part of a single class of drugs which include prescription pain relievers and heroin. While opiates are technically naturally derived from opium, and opioids are synthetically made, both affect the brain in the same way. Opiates and opioids bind to the opioid receptors in the central nervous system. In doing so, they change how the user senses pain. In addition to pain relief, opiates and opioids can also create feelings of euphoria, known as a high. These drugs trigger reward and emotion responses in the brain, which can lead to addiction.
While all opiates and opioids are similar in how they behave in the brain, they’re not all the same regarding strength. For example, there are some opiates considered relatively mild, while others are so potent they can cause an almost instantaneous overdose in people who aren’t opioid-tolerant. The use of opioids has led to an epidemic in the U.S., with more than two million people reportedly addicted to these drugs. So, which are the strongest opiates and opioids?
Following the above strong opiates and opioids, they then go down in strength from there. Oxycodone isn’t as strong as the above drugs, but it is still very addictive. Oxycodone is found in brand-name drugs like Percocet and Oxycontin. Morphine is a natural opiate used in medicine, and it’s as powerful as oxycodone. Hydrocodone is almost the same strength as morphine and is brand-name drugs like Vicodin and Lortab. Codeine is one of the weakest opioids and is usually given in cough medicines or to alleviate pain ranging from mild to moderate. Some formulations with codeine are schedule II or V, meaning the risk of abuse is relatively low.
While the strength of opiates and opioids may vary, it’s important to realize they are all addictive and can cause physical dependence. If you or a loved one struggles with opiate or opioid misuse, please reach out to our team of addiction and recovery specialists at The Recovery Village.
Have more questions about Opiate abuse?Read the most frequently asked questions
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