Addiction to natural opiates can occur just as easily as addiction to synthetic opioids. Opium itself is highly addictive and is still abused recreationally by many individuals. Morphine is derived naturally from opium, and according to the National Library of Medicine, should only be taken by those who are already tolerant to and dependent on opioids because of the high levels of abuse it can cause. Fortunately, just like addiction to synthetic opioids, addiction to natural opioids can be treated in a number of ways.
Is Treatment the Same?
Whether opioids are synthetic or organic in nature, they cause the same results in the brain when taken in doses high enough to cause euphoria and relaxation. Over time, someone taking these drugs recreationally will likely begin to become addicted to them, unable to stop taking the drugs even if they are causing severe problems in the person’s life.
Treatment is the same for people addicted to either type of opioids, usually split into two categories:
- Methadone: a synthetic opioid
- Buprenorphine: a semi-synthetic partial opioid agonist
- Naltrexone: a synthetic opioid antagonist
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Contingency management
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
Why Does Someone Require Treatment After Taking Natural Opiates?
The natural versions of these drugs are no less dangerous than the synthetic versions. Even though something occurs in nature, this does not mean it is safe to consume at high doses, especially when the drugs themselves cause a person to be unable to stop taking them even when they want to. An individual will require treatment for opium, morphine, or codeine addiction just like someone will need it after the long-time abuse of heroin. No matter where the narcotic itself came from, they all have the same properties and can create addiction syndromes that are just as dangerous, powerful, and requiring of treatment.
Can a Person Overcome Natural Opiate Addiction with Treatment?
As stated by the US Department of Health and Human Services, “A person with addiction can regain a healthy, productive life” with support from loved ones and the right treatment regimen. Someone who has been abusing natural opiates like morphine and opium has the same chance as someone who was taking synthetic opioids to be able to recover if they receive the treatment that is best for them.
Opioid addiction is such a prevalent topic in today’s society, and many people understand that prescription opioids like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl can be dangerous when abused. While this is good and may possibly lead to a decrease in opioid abuse, many individuals still do not realize that natural opiates are just as dangerous, addictive, and open to abuse as their synthetic counterparts. Just because the drug is organic doesn’t mean it won’t be dangerous. What’s more, although a person can become heavily addicted to natural opiates, this addiction can also be treated.