Those who aren’t familiar with drugs may ask themselves the question, “Is heroin an opiate?” Answering this question is important for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, because if someone has struggled with opiates in the past, they’ll know they’re more likely to develop an addiction. Opiates have been around for thousands of years, but it’s only recently that they have become such a major problem in the United States.
What are Opiates?
Opiates come from the opium plant. The countries that have the highest amount of opium plants are places like China and India. People used to smoke these plants for spiritual experiences or medicinal purposes. Unfortunately, there isn’t much documentation of addiction when it comes to the origins of opiate use. The reality is that with what we now know about the disease of addiction, people most likely have experienced addiction for centuries.
Opiates work by attaching to opioid receptors in the brain, which can be very useful to block pain. The United States military started giving heroin to wounded soldiers as a morphine alternative in the early 20th century. Many soldiers developed addictions to morphine. Originally, heroin was supposed to help them wean off of it. Military doctors quickly found that heroin could be just as addictive as morphine, but also more fatal when patients used it in excess.
Is Heroin an Opiate?
Heroin is one of the purest forms of opium and is far stronger than morphine and similar opioid medications. Opiates release dopamine into the central nervous system, which stimulates pleasure. When people use this drug in excess, both the body and the brain begin to crave it. These cravings become overwhelming, and the person begins to use more and more to satisfy it.
One of the biggest problems with heroin addiction is that the mind and body become dependent on the drug. This means that the person experiences symptoms of withdrawal soon after they stop using the drug. Due to the harsh, painful symptoms of withdrawal, people often continue using heroin just so they don’t get sick. Many people end up relapsing on heroin because they’d rather keep experiencing heroin effects than deal with the symptoms of withdrawal.
Some symptoms of opiate withdrawal include:
- Cold sweats
- Aches and pains in the joints and muscles
- Getting Help for an Addiction to Heroin
Is heroin an opiate that’s ruining your life? Crestview Recovery is a 30-bed facility located in beautiful Portland, Oregon. We help people with substance abuse disorders. Our insurance-based program helps patients reduce the costs of rehab while maximizing their stay. We provide an extended-care 90-day program for anyone who really wants to strengthen their sobriety as much as possible. You can find out more about our substance abuse treatments by calling us now at 866.262.0531.