Some people may say that the effects of opium are very much similar to those of heroin, and this is true. In fact, both of these drugs are opiates and they tend to cause a relaxing effect that can depress the central nervous system causing suppressed breathing, lowered heart rate and overall feelings of relaxation. Unfortunately, the effects of heroin are often much worse than those of opium simply because heroin is a more concentrated form of this drug and because of the way that the drug is used.
Effects of Heroin
The effects of heroin begin with dry mouth and shortness of breath but this can quickly turn into serious complications including disorientation, injury or even death. This powerful opioid causing widespread complications when it is injected, smoked or otherwise consumed. Some of the effects of heroin, such as labored or suppressed breathing, can lead to severe complications such as heart attack, stroke or potentially fatal outcomes.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, heroin enters the brain and binds to cells that are responsible for the perception of pain. As such, people who abuse heroin are likely to feel little to no pain even if they are injured and this can lead to critical life complications. When an individual attempts to quit using heroin, the reward system is often damaged as a result of their drug use and they have trouble feeling comfortable or happy as a result of the damage that was done to their brain. It can take weeks, months or even years for an individual to recover from this damage and to regain a sense of self contentment or happiness.
Heroin Use vs. Opium Use
People who abuse heroin often inject the drug which can lead to a number of additional complications including infection at the injection site, disease, overdose and death. Opium is generally smoked, and although there are dangers associated with smoking opium such as lung damage, heroin is also smoked and has the equal ability to cause lung damage.
When opium is used, most users will fall asleep before they are able to continue to smoke more opium. This generally results in a reduced risk of overdose as compared to the use of heroin. Likewise, neither heroin nor opium are safe for consumption. Users should be weary of using either of these drugs as the effects that can occur for the use of such drugs may lead to lifelong complications that cannot be overcome, changed or taken back.
If you or someone you love is addicted to heroin, opium or any other opiate, consider getting help right away to get your life back on track. Opiate addiction is a potentially deadly condition that, if left untreated, can have devastating effects on you and on those who care about you. There are many forms of help available to you including inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, counseling, therapy, support groups and many other sources of care.
The method of help that you choose and the means of care that you receive will likely depend on your individual circumstances as well as various other factors such as your ability to pay for treatment, your location, your family life and your condition itself. Each case of addiction is different but there is one common bond—all cases are treatable and, with the right help, there are ways that you can recover no matter how terrible this disease is.