What is the Difference Between Morphine and Heroin

heroinThere are many drugs that are similar in nature. For instance, heroin and opiate prescription pain killers are so similar that people addicted to the medications have been known to turn to the Schedule I drug as a substitute. However, the similarity of drugs does not make either substance safer than the other. Heroin and morphine are similar in appearance and basic composition, but neither are fitting to be in the body.

In 2014 new reports about lethal heroin have been blossoming all over America. In the ‘80s, heroin was much more popular and pricey. What was a $50 bag is now topping out at $10. Heroin comes into the country through Mexico most often and it as much as 95 percent pure at the time of entry. After being distributed out to the drug dealers and being cut, the purity is reduced to 12 percent by the time it hits the streets. What the drug is combined with is often a mystery, unknown to the users and possibly even the drug dealers themselves.

Many forms of opioids are used in hospitals as painkillers. Vicodin and OxyContin are among the most popular prescribed medications for those who have undergone surgical procedures. But opioids have a high probability for addiction and abuse; in a short time many people were addicted to the opioids – and the government soon caught on. Heavy penalties came down for over prescription and doctor shopping and the opioid prescribing took a plunge. Only those with heavy wallets could afford the rising prescription prices; everyone else either had to deal or find another prescription. The affordable prices and basic composition of heroin made it a perfect substitute.

Another substance similar to heroin is morphine. Like the prescription painkillers, morphine is used in hospitals for patients with severe pain – many of which have undergone surgical procedures. Morphine is naturally extracted from the poppy plant. Morphine is a Schedule II drug, making it available for medical purposes. Morphine is also similar in appearance to heroin; it can come in various forms, including powder and even a black tar-like substance. Heroin is produced from morphine and is a synthetic drug.

Heroin and morphine are psychoactive substances. Where morphine is used to relieve others from pain, heroin is most often abused. Heavy doses of either substance causes a euphoria within the body. This is caused by the brain being stimulated to release massive amounts of dopamine, a naturally produced substance responsible for mood. When the drug wears off, the user is often left feeling worse than before they took the heroin. They find it hard to experience positive feelings for things they used to – the chemicals in the drugs react with their brain and the release of dopamine is often stunted with prolonged use of heroin. As a result, the user often goes back to taking heroin in order to experience the positive feelings that the “high” produced.

Side effects of morphine and heroin (in smaller doses) include drowsiness, lack of focus, nausea and tremors. Long-term usage can cause extreme damage to the body. — ultimately leading to death. Neither heroin or morphine are substances that should be used outside of medical means. While the basic composition of heroin is used in medications, it is still an illegal drug. The damage it causes to the body is irrevocable with prolonged use. If you or someone you know is addicted to an opioid like morphine or heroin, it is important to get them help immediately. They might believe they have everything under control, or might not even realize they have a problem. The longer you wait to seek help, the worse the problem will become.


Drugs and Human Performance FACT SHEETS – Morphine (and Heroin)

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