What is the Difference Between Heroin and an Opiate? - USA Addictions

A Common Confusion: Is There a Difference Between Heroin and an Opiate

While you may hear about heroin or opiates in the news or in a paper, you may not know what exactly they are.  Are opiates the same thing as heroin? Is an opiate more dangerous than heroin? These are all questions that have come to people’s minds when learning about drugs and addiction. So what is the difference between heroin and an opiate? The answer is none. There is no difference between an opiate and heroin. In fact, heroin is in a group of drugs called opiates.

Opiates have a wide range of variation. They range from legal drugs like morphine and codeine, two illegal drugs like heroin or opium. Opiates which are derived from the poppy seed plant are often taken to relieve pain. The problem with relieving pain by using opiates is that these drugs are very addictive. When taking any type of opiate you are immediately met with a sense of euphoria, by slow breathing, and a relaxed sense both mentally and physically. A recent surgery patient explained the feeling of taking her prescription after surgery as scary because she could see how easy it was to get addicted. She explained, “As soon as I took the medicine, the pain was immediately gone and I felt drowsy. I knew it was a very powerful drug because as soon as the effects wore off I needed more, which was about every 4 hours in the beginning. I could slowly see myself becoming dependent on it, so I slowly weaned myself off of it, just to be safe.”

These drugs are so powerful that if given more than prescribed, you could die immediately. While these drugs are very powerful, the more and more you take, the more your body will build up a resistance to them. This means every time you take your drug of choice, you will have to take more and more each time, to get the desired effect. If you are taking opiates, addiction is a very serious aspect you face. These drugs are powerful and while they may feel like they are helping you, you might slowly or quickly become addicted. In fact, the CDC has stated that heroin addiction, along with opiate addiction, is now an epidemic.

This epidemic is now sweeping across the country, taking thousands from us yearly. Long term effects of using opiates include itching, pockmarks, weakened immune system, cold sweats, constipation, problems breathing, muscular weakness, loss of memory, depression, loss of appetite, insomnia, and abscesses from needle marks.

Although opiates are considered an epidemic right now, that doesn’t mean that this issue is unbeatable. People recover daily from heroin addiction and opiate addiction. While it is a tough battle to face, people do it every day. If you or someone you know has an opiate or heroin addiction, please call us now 1-888-365-0665. Our addiction specialists will guide you through the process of finding a treatment center specifically to fit your needs.

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