Opium

Opium is the crudest form and also the least potent of the Opiates. Opium is the milky latex fluid contained in the un-ripened seed pod of the opium poppy. As the fluid is exposed to air, it hardens and turns black in color. This dried form is typically smoked, but can also be eaten. Opium is grown mainly in Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Afghanistan. Today opium is sold on the street as a powder or dark brown solid and is smoked, eaten, or injected.

Opium addiction

The powerful prescription pain reliever has become a hot new street drug that has resulted in more than 120 deaths nationwide. It will give you a high much like HIGH GRADE heroin but with worse consequences. 5mg of OXY has as much active ingredient (oxycodone) as one Percocet. So chewing/snorting a 40mg OXY is like taking 8 Percocet at once or a 80mg Oxy is like taking 16 Percocet all at once. Opium should be used to fight extreme pain. Doctors commonly prescribe it to cancer patients as an alternative to morphine. The drug is addictive, expensive, and when misused, it can be lethal. Opium abuse is becoming an epidemic in several rural areas and townships.

Physical dependence, which is sometimes unavoidable, develops when an individual is exposed to a drug at a high enough dose for long enough that the body adapts and develops a tolerance for the drug. This means that higher doses are needed to achieve a drug’s original effects. If the patient stops taking the drug, withdrawal will occur. Just like heroin it is almost impossible to do alone as the withdrawal symptoms of Opium are worse than heroin and last longer. Professional help from a heroin detox centre is the best and safest way to do this but there is NO painless way. Drug craving is the result of the drug’s imprinting in the memory of a pleasant association of euphoria with the drug. The subconscious memory then motivates the individual to seek this drug because of the false imprint. The brain, in effect, has been trained that using the drug is the fastest way to feel good. This learning process then produces a new appetite or drive to seek the drug which we call craving. This craving is most often activated by, a) memory of pleasure, b) when we feel bad and have a habit of using the drug to rapidly feel good, c) when we are in a situation with people, places and activities in which a previous habit pattern of drug use has been established.

Prescription drugs, like other addictive drugs, are able to short-circuit your survival system by artificially stimulating the reward centre, or pleasure areas in your brain, without anything beneficial happening to your body. As this happens, it leads to increased confidence in the drug, and less confidence in the normal rewards of life. This first happens on a physical level. Then, it affects you psychologically. The big drug lie results in decreased interest in other aspects of life, as you increase your reliance and interest in the drug. People, places and activities involved with using drugs become more important. People, places and activities or lifestyles that worked through your normal reward system, before using the drug, become less important to you. After a while, a heavy drug user will actually resent people, places, and activities that do not fit in with that drug use.

Addictive drugs mimic the action of chemicals your brain produces to send messages of pleasure to your brain’s reward centre. They produce an artificial feeling of pleasure. Most addictive drugs are able to produce pleasurable effects by chemically acting like certain normal brain messenger chemicals, which produce positive feelings in response to signals from the brain. The result is a dependence on the immediate, fast, predictable drug which, at the same time, short circuits interests in and the motivation to make life’s normal rewards work. More and more confidence is placed in the drug while other survival feelings are ignored and bypassed. The result of this addiction cycle is a lack of concern for, and confidence in, other areas of life.

Opium abuse

The power painkiller Opium is being abused by more and more people across the nation. The heroin-like effects of the drug attract both legitimate and illegitimate users. Opium abuse is spreading for a variety of reasons. First, the elevated opiate dosage makes it highly addictive. Second, in contrast to drugs such as cocaine or heroin that can be laced with other substances, with Opium you know how much of the drug you are getting; the dosage is consistent, so it is a dependable high. Finally, Opium is covered by most health insurance plans, so it is significantly cheaper than street drugs. (Opium has been referred to as “hillbilly heroin” or “the poor man’s heroin.”)

Common signs and side effects of opium use

Being of similar structure, the opiate molecules occupy many of the same nerve-receptor sites and bring on the same analgesic effect as the body’s natural painkillers. Opiates first produce a feeling of pleasure and euphoria, but with their continued use the body demands larger amounts to reach the same sense of well-being. Some of the illnesses associated with addiction are: malnutrition, respiratory complications, low blood pressure.

Common symptoms of opium withdrawal and overdose

Withdrawal is extremely uncomfortable, and addicts typically continue taking the drug to avoid pain rather than to attain the initial state of euphoria. Overdose symptoms include:

  • slow breathing
  • seizures
  • dizziness
  • weakness
  • loss of consciousness
  • coma
  • confusion
  • tiredness
  • cold and clammy skin
  • small pupils

Opium addiction

Opium is highly addictive. Tolerance (the need for higher and higher doses to maintain the same effect) and physical and psychological dependence develop quickly. Withdrawal from opium causes nausea, tearing, yawning, chills, and sweating. As long ago as 100 AD, opium had been used as a folk medicine, taken with a beverage or swallowed as a solid. Only toward the middle of the 17th century, when opium smoking was introduced into China, did any serious addiction problems arise. In the 18th century opium addiction was so serious there that the Chinese made many attempts to prohibit opium cultivation and opium trade with Western countries. At the same time opium made its way to Europe and North America, where addiction grew out of its prevalent use as a painkiller.

Opium addiction treatment programs

Opium is a highly addictive drug. Recovery and rehabilitation from Opium addiction may require a treatment program ranging from certified addiction counselling to treatment at a residential alcohol and drug rehab centre, depending on the extent of the addiction and a number of other factors.

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