The mythological Morpheus is the son of sleep and the god of dreams who inspired the apothecary Adolf Serturner to designate the primary alkaloid in opium as morphine—and for good reason. Morphine, in addition to relieving severe pain, is a strong narcotic that bestows the effects of grogginess, impaired vision, lethargy and dulled mental processes on its users. Take the drug regularly for any length of time and your body comes to expect it and adjusts its chemical production to account for its presence. Stop taking the drug or miss a dose and your body reacts violently, exhibiting physical reactions called withdrawal symptoms. It is these withdrawal symptoms that signify that morphine addiction is present.
The Difference Between Heroin and Morphine
Heroin is derived from morphine and affects the body and mind in the exact same way that morphine does. In fact, morphine is technically called “morphine sulfate.” Heroin is diacetyl morphine,” which means that it has the same chemical makeup as morphine but with an acetyl molecule attached.
More easily found on the street, heroin drug addiction is far more common that morphine addiction, though few heroin addicts will turn down morphine if it’s offered to them. You will find more heroin rehab programs than morphine addiction treatment centers for this reason.
Another difference is that heroin has no medical purpose or use according to United States standard while morphine is commonly found in American hospitals and used to treat severe pain. That is, heroin is classified as a Schedule I narcotic while morphine is a Schedule II. Heroin is also much stronger than morphine, about three times as strong.
Morphine and Heroin Side Effects
The physical and psychological side effects of using heroin or morphine are quite strong. Some may experience anxiety or paranoia while others experience extreme fatigue and sedation. “Pinned” pupils and double or blurred vision are common while under the influence of either drug. Many get chills while others may develop a rash or begin to itch. Some hallucinate or having waking dreams and others have an exaggerated sense of well being.
After using the drug, many become irritable or depressed. Some develop cramps or nausea, and constipation is common.
Heroin Addiction and Morphine Addiction
Heroin addiction is a common problem in the United States and an issue that has not decreased in severity over the last decade. Morphine is less common, but just as serious of an issue. Most evolve into heroin addicts, some at a very young age, because the drug is so much stronger and easier to come by. Both morphine addiction and heroin addiction are deadly diseases that require medical treatment.