Heroin and morphine

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What are heroin and morphine?

Heroin, morphine, codeine and opium are drugs produced from the juice of the opium poppy. Similar drugs can be produced synthetically, such as methadone.

Collectively, the drugs are called opioids. Heroin is most common in whitish or brown powder.

How do heroin and morphine work?

Heroin provides a brief rush and then a relaxing high, where pain and problems fade into a feeling of blissful indifference. The effect comes very quickly.

The substances have a strong analgesic effect, but also numb the central nervous system in other ways. Large doses cause constipation, inhibit breathing, and pupils constrict.

You become lethargic, drowsy, talk in a slurred way and walk unsteadily. And you may feel unwell with nausea and chills.

Are heroin and morphine dangerous?

Heroin and morphine inhibit the respiratory centre of the brain. Too large a dose will cause slow and shallow breathing and eventually stop breathing, causing death.

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Heroin and morphine

Can you get addicted to heroin?

The body quickly gets used to the drug. After only a few days of use, you need more and more drug to achieve the same effect.

What does withdrawal from heroin and morphine feel like?

Chills, sweats, muscle aches, nausea, trouble sleeping and more are symptoms of withdrawal that can resemble the flu.

Then comes a long period of fatigue, irritability, apathy and feelings of listlessness, depression and drug cravings.

Can you get side effects from heroin addiction?

Life with a heroin addiction is stressful socially, psychologically and physically. Injecting drug users is associated with a high risk of damage to blood vessels and serious infectious diseases such as hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, heart valve disease, etc.

The risk is particularly high if you share syringes or other ‘tools’ with others.

What is “mixed use”?

Heroin (or other opioid) use is often part of a mix of alcohol, benzodiazepines, cannabis, amphetamines and cocaine.


In treatment with heroin as the main problem

Is in substitution treatment in Denmark

How to get out of addiction?

Addiction to heroin and morphine can cause both physical and social problems, as well as provoking psychological disorders. Therefore, targeted treatment of the abuse should obviously be initiated as soon as possible.

As with any other form of addiction – alcohol abuse, for example – you will often experience severe withdrawal if you stop taking the drug overnight. Therefore, it is typically important to undergo a gradual withdrawal and focus on ongoing treatment of withdrawal symptoms.

After successful treatment for addiction, you can get back to living the good life that doesn’t revolve around using, for example, heroin and morphine.
There is typically an underlying reason why you become addicted. That’s why addiction treatment at a treatment centre is not just about getting your body off drugs, but also – for example, through psychotherapy – getting rid of various problems so that you no longer feel the need to resort to drugs.

Heroin and morphine