Opioid vs. opiate

At one time “opioid” was used for synthetic stuff used to do the same thing as an “opiate” which was manufactured from poppies.

Now, apparently, owing to much mis-use, they mean exactly the same thing.

So, could we please go back to “opiate”? “Opioid” is hard to type, hard to pronounce, and not enlightening. And also comes up in MSWord as a misspelling unless you add it to the dictionary.

Please internet make this happen.

I’ll do my part. Opioid for synthetic opiate only & opiate for the real deal.

Kinda murky, but in my experience, opiates are a naturally derived form of an opioid.

But, as you said, they are used pretty much interchangeably now.

We literate types lost the Sex/Gender distinction. (One is biological, the other is social)

I won’t cry over opioid/opiate, but will continue to use them correctly.

Vicodin is an opioid
Morphine is an opiate

i had always thought of the terms as meaning classification and part. Opiod being the family of drug type, and opiate being the individual. ie: morphine is an opiate in the opiod classification of drugs. But, I see now that’s not the case, so i dont know what to do. Maybe** HNS** has the solution. . .


Gross, mostly true generalization follows:

All opiates are opioids but most opioids are not opiates.

Opiates: Alkaloid compounds that are found in opium, the “tears of the poppy”. Morphine, codeine, and thebaine are the big three. They bind to and activate opioid receptors in the nervous system to cause their effects.

Opioids: Alkaloid compounds which bind to and activate the opioid receptors in the nervous system.

There are semi-synthetic opioids like heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, oxymorphone and many others, which are produced by taking an opiate and altering it chemically.

There are fully-synthetic opioids which are produced without using an opiate, such as methadone, fentanyl, buprenorphine, and many others.

So, all opiates are opiods but not vice versa? Like squares and rhombuseseseses?


“religion is the opioid of the masses.” - Carla Marx

I dunno, doesn’t quite have the same ring.

Opioids also include neurotransmitters which naturally occur inside the brain (endogenous opioids). For example, endorphin.


“Religion is the opiate of the masses.” - Karl Marx

“Television is the op-op-opioid of the masses.” - Marx Headroom

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opioid to the drains…

I’m not sure what you mean by this. Surely the distinction is much clearer now? There is greater public awareness of gender diversity, and progressive dismantling of prejudice against those whose gender identity is not concordant with their biological sex.

In some long-ago English class we learned that sex is for living things and gender is for nouns. Or verbs.

This probably seemed useful at the time but turned out not to be true at all

believe it or not, the little “check one” on school and government forms asked for “Sex”.
Maybe it was because clever males decided to have fun with it, I don’t know why the “Sex” was changed to “Gender”.
Every time I am asked “Male or Female”? the term used is “Gender”.

Even these boards had “Alt Reality” “answers” to my question about Sex/Gender difference.

The best was “Gender is what you have; sex is what you do with it”.

Just as with “that/which” “like/as” and dozens more over the years, the distinction is lost in the rising tide of illiteracy.

Nuts. Language changes constantly. Distinctions that are unimportant to understanding have been getting lost since three days after language was invented. There is no rising tide of illiteracy. More people are more educated today than ever in history. It’s true that you get to see publicly the usages of less experienced writers. In the past you almost always saw nothing but professional writers unless you were reading a letter from relatives. But seeing a wider and deeper segment of society today does not imply that the spectrum has shifted lower than it once was. There is not a fraction of a scintilla of evidence that this is true.

On thread topic, I was in the hospital recently and pain relief was a major subject, since nothing was working. Every time the term came up opioids was used. I didn’t hear opiate once from professional staff.

Kinda like all Champagnes are sparkling wines but not all sparkling wines are Champagnes.