The US’ current opioid epidemic has made people hungry for information about drugs, legal and illicit, that fall into this category. Given the tragedies we are witnessing because of heroin and fentanyl overdoses, offering more information about opioids is a good idea. If people can better understand how drugs work and how they affect humans, it’s possible that understanding will curtail abuse. In this writing, we will address the differences between opium vs heroin.
Opium vs Heroin – Identifying Differences
Both of these substances offer similar effects, namely creating euphoria and suppressing pain. Of course, there are many differences when we look at opium vs heroin. Opium comes directly from the naturally occurring narcotic manufacturers extract from the sap of unripe bulbs of the poppy plant. The drug counts morphine as its active ingredient, which works to suppress pain receptors in the brain.
Heroin is a synthetic substance that uses opium as it’s the primary active ingredient. The manufacturing process dictates manufacturers convert the opium into pure morphine, which then turns into chemically-changed heroin. The process produces a substance that has a higher level of potency than the opium extract. The higher potency leads to more euphoria and eventually, more significant problems.
From a legality standpoint, the FDA classifies opium as a legal substance when manufacturers make the substance in legal labs/factories. A doctor will prescribe this medication for the treatment of moderate to severe pain issues. Heroin is an illicit substance, meaning people cannot legally manufacture or sell the drug in the US. Because of the drug’s potency, it is very much in demand on the streets. As such, it creates a mound of societal problems with which we all have to deal.
The Side Effects
While both substances have similar properties, they do metabolize a little differently in the human body. The primary reason for this is the aforementioned potency differences. Yes, people can abuse opium. When they do, they will likely encounter some of the same side effects people face when they abuse heroin.
With that said, every side effect is more dangerous with heroin. Both drugs can produce euphoria, drowsiness, constipation, nausea, and addiction. However, heroin causes a rapid loss of motor and memory function, creates an addiction more rapidly and causes more significant breathing and heart rate issues. With opium, it requires a significant dose to hit overdose levels. That’s not true with heroin. Depending on body weight and frequency of abuse, much smaller doses of heroin can send the user over the top.
In a nutshell, heroin is significantly more dangerous than opium.
Crest View Recovery Center – Addiction Treatment Professionals
Along with our opium addiction treatment program, we offer a wide range of other programs for North Carolina residents. We use a wellness approach to treatment, which includes Reality Based modalities in combination with holistic treatment options. Look at our list of treatment options to better understand how we approach treatment:
- Big emphasis on family counseling and involvement
- Primary focus on intensive outpatient treatment
- Dual diagnosis treatment as long as addiction is the primary focus
- Holistic options – acupuncture, yoga, equine and recreation
- Trauma therapy
If you are struggling with an opiate addiction, understanding the differences between opium vs heroin is of little importance. What you need to understand is you are at significant risk and need help. Crest View Recovery Center is offering that help. You can start the recovery process by contacting one of our representatives at the following toll-free number, 8663272505.