Opium is the all-natural sap that comes from the poppy plant. Opium is the ‘mother’ of all of the opiate drugs, meaning that all opiate drugs, such as heroin, morphine, and prescription painkillers, come from opium. However, unlike other opiate drugs, heroin is illegally made and distributed.
According to the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, heroin is an addictive Schedule I drug, and an extremely potent opiate. Heroin is processed from morphine, which is a natural substance extracted from the opium poppy. The opium poppy is a plant found the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Pure heroin is a bitter tasting white powder and is rarely sold on the streets.
Most of the heroin sold on the streets is a white to dark brown powder. The difference in color from pure white to dark brown has to do with the impurities of the drug in the manufacturing process. Heroin sold on the streets commonly has other additives in it such as milk and other drugs.
The effects of opium are more powerful than heroin, depending on the amount taken, but heroin commonly has other drugs, or ingredients mixed in the drug, which can make the drug’s effects different from heroin, and can make the drug more dangerous. Opium & heroin will both alleviate pain and they will both cause a person to feel highly sedated. However, with heroin, since it is more commonly abused by injection, it produces a powerful initial rush through a person’s body when it enters their blood stream.
Similarities between Opium and Heroin’s Withdrawals
Both opium and heroin are highly addictive, and to maintain a habit of using them, a person will need to continually have money. Heroin especially, is a costly habit and its effects do not last as long as opium’s effects do, which means that a person needs to take more heroin than opium to maintain their high.
According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, the average heroin addict can spend up to $200 per day to maintain their addiction. As a person continues to take higher doses they are likely to develop physical dependence and addiction. When a person stops using heroin, withdrawal may occur, which produces intense negative effects such as drug cravings, restlessness, muscle and bone pain, and vomiting.
Withdrawals from heroin and opium are basically the same, which include nausea, vomiting, anxiety, mood swings, depression, diarrhea, muscle aches, cold shivers, muscle twitching, and Goosebumps. The main difference between the two drug’s withdrawals would be the psychological withdrawals. Some people may have more intense psychological withdrawals from heroin than opium, due to the intensity of the drug’s euphoric rush, and the amount of heroin used, since most heroin addicts have to use more of the drug than people who abuse opium.