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Are Heroin and Morphine the Same?

In terms of drug addiction, morphine and heroin rank among the most widely used opiates. Morphine is considered the most effective pain reliever and is the mainstay for controlling many types of pain. But since morphine is addictive, a person can develop a tolerance to the analgesic effects, and it may stop working, and the dose will have to go up. Heroin is formed from morphine, and unlike morphine, it is not legal to consume, nor is it prescribed legally for pain management. Therefore, people who use heroin will also develop a tolerance to the effects and, like morphine, need to increase the dose to feel the effects.  

Opiates vs. Opioids

There is often confusion between opiates and opioids. Both are addictive and dangerous, but they are different. Opiates are produced by the poppy plant and are considered “natural” narcotics. Poppy plants are the source of both morphine and heroin, but also opium, and codeine, again, all of which are opiates. Opioids are partly synthetic substances. The active ingredients in opioids are synthesized chemically. Because of their similar molecules, opioids act just like opiates in the human body. Examples of opioids are OxyContin, hydrocodone, and fentanyl. 

Historical Facts About Opiates

As we know, opiates such as heroin and morphine all derive from the same plant: the opium poppy. In ancient Mesopotamia, opium poppy plants were cultivated and used for medicine and pleasure 5,000 years ago. Historically opiates have been consumed both recreationally and medically for a long time. In the 1800s, morphine became a medicinal cure-all and was widely used to treat pain and other conditions. Heroin was also initially used as a medicine and marketed by the aspirin company Bayer in the late 1800s. Both morphine and heroin were first synthesized for medical use before physicians realized how addictive they were.  

What Does Research Explain About Heroin and Morphine? 

All research concerning opiates or opioids address addiction. However, the heroin and prescription pain killer crisis is still very alarming and real. The National Institute on Drug Abuse addresses the tendency for opiate and opioid addicts to relapse. Addiction to either an opiate (derived from the poppy plant) or opioids (artificial drugs) is a long-term addiction. Most people stay addicted for years and even decades. NIDA offers Medication-Assisted treatment as a solid solution as either lofexidine, methadone, or buprenorphine.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse Recommends Opioid Replacement Medications 

Studies show that people with opioid use disorder who follow detoxification with complete abstinence are very likely to relapse or return to using the drug. While relapse is a normal step on the path to recovery, it can also be life-threatening, raising the risk for a fatal overdose. Thus, an important way to support recovery from a heroin or prescription opioid use disorder is to abstain from those drugs. Someone in recovery can also use medications that reduce the negative effects of withdrawal and cravings without producing the euphoria that the original drug of abuse caused. For example, the FDA recently approved lofexidine, a non-opioid medicine designed to reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms. Methadone and buprenorphine are other medications approved for this purpose. (NIDA)

What is the Difference Between Heroin and Morphine?

Between heroin and morphine, there are many similarities but also differences. Heroin has a three-fold potency difference over morphine, and since it is stronger, more drug addicts use heroin than morphine. And another notable difference between heroin and morphine is the speed with which the drug reaches the brain. Predictably, Heroin passes through the blood-brain barrier faster, and the more speedily a drug takes effect increases its addictive quality. Morphine and heroin are similar because both cause addiction, but heroin will do so quickly. 

Morphine and Heroin Treatment Same Day Admission At Evoke Wellness In Massachusetts  

People addicted to opiates or opioids are identified as having opioid use disorder, also known as addiction to opioids. Evoke Wellness at Cohasset has decades of experience treating heroin, morphine, fentanyl, and prescription painkiller addictions. Do not let more time pass without seeking professional help and medically supervised detox to get free from this addiction finally. Call now for same-day admission and chat or email to learn more.