There’s a dangerous heroin epidemic currently gripping the United States. A very common question that people ask when learning about this drug is, “Is heroin an opiate?”. The short answer to this question is yes.
Is Heroin an Opiate?
Heroin is an extremely dangerous opiate that can lead to a potentially fatal overdose. Opiates are some of the oldest drugs, with usage dating back as far as 3400 BC. These potent drugs come from the opium poppy, which exists in the eastern parts of the world. The most common places for the opium plant include Iraq, India, China, and Greece.
People have been using opiates for recreational use for thousands of years, but the problem is now killing tens of thousands of people each year. In ancient times, people smoked the opium plant for the high and eventually learned that they could use the drug as an anesthetic. During the first World Wars, doctors prescribed heroin to veterans as a way to get them off of morphine. However, they quickly discovered that heroin is much more dangerous and addictive than even morphine.
Why is Heroin an Opiate and Not an Opioid?
When asking, “Is heroin an opiate?”, you may wonder what the difference between an opiate and opioid is. Sometimes people use opioids as a blanket term for both opiates and opioids, but these drugs have different properties. Opioids are a synthetic version of opiates, which many narcotic pain medications have as an active ingredient. In many cases of heroin addiction, individuals began by abusing prescription opioids.
Some of the most common prescription opioids include:
These medications are addictive because they attach to the opioid receptors in the brain and release dopamine. Dopamine is a pleasure chemical that the brain craves because of the positive effects it receives. The problem is that over the period of long-term use, the brain no longer cares that the abuse is dangerous. This point is when people lose control of their use and may progress to an even more dangerous drug like heroin.
Is Heroin an Opiate That Can Kill?
Opioids and opiates are some of the most dangerous drugs available because of their potency. These drugs depress the nervous system, which makes it difficult for a person to breathe. In recent years, more and more people have been using heroin that is laced with fentanyl. Fentanyl is a potent opioid that’s roughly 50 times stronger than heroin.
If you’re struggling with any type of opiates addiction, allow The Hills Treatment Center to help. We’re a qualified treatment facility that can help you learn how to live without heroin and other drugs. Some programs and services we offer include:
For more information about our addiction treatment programs, call us today at 866-323-4665.