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Heroin versus Opium Treatment: Is there a Difference?

In order to understand the subtle differences between opium and heroin addiction and treatment it is important to understand the differences between the two drugs. It is also important to understand how each effects the body as well as how they are treated. Although opium and heroin treatment are similar, they are a bit different.

Opium and Opium Addiction Treatment

Opium is the natural less refined version of heroin. Harvesters split the opium poppy and collect the sap. They dry the sap and then distribute it. People normally smoke opium but they also can brew it into a tea.

Opium is the raw form of heroin. It contains a number of alkaloids such as codeine, morphine, thebaine, and papaverine. All of these are intoxicants and when they manufacturers separate these chemicals they make drugs like:

  • morphine,
  • codeine,
  • heroin, and
  • several other prescription painkillers.

Each of these are highly addictive and are a serious problem in the United States.

Opium itself is taken for the same reasons people take heroin or other opium derivatives. The euphoria and sense of well-being people gain from opium is said to be less intense, but equally addictive.

Still eastern and western cultures have used opium for thousands of years with little or no trouble. Opium addiction at the very least seems more controllable than its manufactured counterparts.

Opium addiction still requires treatment. Addiction to opium like any other addiction is defined as the compulsive use of the drug and the inability to stop using it once it is started. Although opium is less popular than its manufactured derivatives, people still use opium today. This makes opium addiction treatment necessary. There are three aspects to opium addiction treatment. They are:

  • Detox,
  • Medication Management
  • Counseling, and
  • Aftercare.

Heroin and Heroin Addiction Treatment

heroin addiction treatment

Heroin addiction can stem from stress.

Heroin is essentially the illegal form of morphine, which is derived directly from opium. Doctors use morphine to treat intense and chronic pain. Heroin has no practical use because it is mixed with a large amount of other substances making it impure and dangerous. Heroin is also unregulated. According to the National Library of Medicine, it is extremely easy to overdose on heroin due to these impurities and the fact that there is no regulation on its manufacturing.

Heroin treatment is very similar to treatment for opium addiction. This treatment consists of:

  • intense detox,
  • medication management or medication assisted therapy,
  • counseling, and
  • aftercare.

The difference between opium treatment and heroin treatment is the emphasis on the type counseling. People become addicted to opium for different reasons than they do heroin or other opiate drugs. These reasons are usually:

  • curiosity,
  • availability, and
  • ease of use.

Addiction to heroin is usually due to underlying causes such as:

  • chronic pain,
  • depression,
  • stress,
  • boredom, and
  • economic stressors.

The differences in treatment are very subtle. Treatment for both relies on intensive therapy after the initial detox. Since heroin withdrawal is particularly unpleasant much of the with heroin relapse is due to the initial detox and withdrawal symptoms. This is why medication assisted therapy is prescribed more for heroin addiction than it is for opiate addiction.

If you are addicted to either opium or heroin, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Although treatment options might be confusing, we are here to help clear up that confusion. For more information on either of these treatments or drugs call us at 800-405-7172. We can help.

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