Opium is a dangerous drug that can lead to many serious repercussions, including overdose, addiction, and sudden death. But is abusing opium really as serious as abusing heroin?
An Opium High = A Heroin High
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, “An opium high is very similar to a heroin high; users experience a euphoric rush, followed by relaxation and the relief of physical pain.”
Many people do not realize this and choose to abuse opium because they believe it is safer than using heroin. In reality, both drugs cause a very similar high, and a heroin user who is unable to get ahold of their drug of choice would absolutely take opium if it were the only drug available to them.
This lack of understanding about opium and the seriousness of using it recreationally can make the drug particularly dangerous. Because there isn’t as much awareness about the problems it abuse can cause as there is about the issues caused by heroin, it makes the drug very harmful and its use extremely risky for those who smoke, inject, or ingest it.
Opium is Abused With Other Drugs
Many people take heroin with other substances, but “opium is also abused in combination with other drugs.” These combinations have their own names (including black, which is a combination of marijuana, opium, and meth, and Buddha, which is marijuana spiked with the drug) and can be extremely dangerous. Any time two drugs of abuse are taken together, there is a more intense risk for the user. Unfortunately, this is a common practice for those who use this drug recreationally.
Opium Abuse Leads to Heroin Use
As stated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Research now suggests that abuse of [prescription opioids] may actually open the door to heroin abuse.” This is partially because heroin is more readily available than prescription opioids and less expensive to purchase illegally. It also creates a high that hits the user faster and, sometimes, can last longer.
All of these same comparisons are true of opium and heroin, respectively, the latter of which is cheaper, easier to obtain, and creates, in many cases, a more quickly achievable high than the former. While both may be dangerous, opium use is likely to lead to heroin use, which makes the former very serious. Many people do not realize the connection between these acts and, therefore, do not consider how dangerous their abuse of a seemingly less intense substance could actually become.
Is Abusing Opium as Serious as Using Heroin?
Because the former can lead to all the same side effects as the latter––including the introduction of an impure substance into the body that can create serious and even deadly physical side effects––the recreational use of opium can easily be considered just as serious as abusing heroin. Opium use is dangerous and can create the same problems that heroin can cause.
If you have been using either substance and you believe you need help in order to quit, call 800-429-5210 today. We can help you find a treatment program in your area or answer any questions you may have about opioid drug abuse.