Opium is a very addictive drug. Though not the most popular drug of choice in the United States today, it can indeed be abused and lead to harmful side effects. An opium addiction or overdose is dangerous and can result in both heart and circulatory problems, or even coma and death.
It’s critical to point out that opium itself is typically smoked, eaten or snorted, while derived forms of opium such as heroin are usually directly injected into the user’s veins. Therefore, heroin users are essentially opium users and deal with the same consequences of overusing it. Because injected drugs have a quick and immediate reaction, all opiate users tend to have a higher risk of overdosing when administering drugs intravenously. The majority of overdoses occur in needle users who sometimes accidentally inject too much heroin or opium into their bodies. Often, these cases involve people who are new to the scene of drug abuse.
The History of Opium
Opium has a long history that dates back to ancient times when it was used for anesthesia and ritual purposes. The ancient Romans, Indians and Egyptians frequently used opium to reduce pain as well as during surgical procedures as an anesthetic. Opium is even mentioned in key medical texts that originate from the ancient world, dating as far back to the times and early writings of Avicenna, Galen and Dioscorides.
Opium use continued for medical reasons clear up to the American Civil War, when other medications were subsequently developed and also derived from the popular poppy plant. Today, strong drugs like opioids and morphine are derived from the plant, which is the same species used to make opium. These opium-based derivatives are commonly used in various medical practices. The ever-evolving world of medicine has changed opium somewhat significantly throughout the years, and has successfully developed new and innovative medications that can ultimately be injected at managed doses for safer and better use overall.
The Harmful Effects of Opium on the Body and Mind
Opium has a number of harmful effects on the body that primarily depend on the way it’s used along with the length of time of abuse and the individual characteristics of the user. If opium is refined into heroin or morphine and then injected, the harmful effects and dangers on the body can increase dramatically. However, even just smoking opium may have long-term effects on a person’s system since the substance penetrates the lungs and is also absorbed into the blood vessels and eventually passed along to the brain.
If opium is smoked, the substance enters the lungs, dissolves into the bloodstream and makes its way into every other organ throughout the body. Breathing slows down and the pupils of the eyes turn into small pinpoints. The user experiences a pleasurable rush that’s immediately followed by an intense state of relaxation. Opium effectively blocks pain, but its impact on the body can sometimes be permanent.
Opium can affect the body by producing physical dependence and tolerance. Once opium use is stopped, the body responds to the lack of the drug through a variety of withdrawal symptoms. Some of these symptoms may include the following:
• Upset stomach
When opium is administered, the user’s brain stops producing pleasurable chemicals and the system adjusts to the presence of opium. Once the effects of the opium fade away, the body stops feeling pleasure and responds by exhibiting these unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
The adjustments a user’s body endures as a result of opium are much like those a heroin addict also experiences. Heroin and opium have several of the same traits and often cause the same side effects on the body. In many cases, the withdrawal symptoms are so similar that the term “opium” is often used to describe other opiates including morphine, heroin and prescription painkillers. The dreadful symptoms that occur during withdrawal from opium can last as long as five days in some cases and even longer in those more severe.
The effects of long-term opium use on the body can last several months, sometimes years. The inevitable damage that’s done to the lungs and other key organs can lead to debilitating diseases or other disorders that may or may not go away. It’s not uncommon for the damaging effects of opium addiction to continue even after a person stops using the drug. Harmful chemicals stemming from the drug can generate lasting consequences for many users.
Help for Overcoming Opium Addiction
Opium addicts often have zero control over their triggers. Therefore, the main goal is to devise a plan to help them stay clear of the obvious ones and respond in a positive manner that doesn’t involve drug use. Relapse isn’t uncommon, but doesn’t necessarily mean that treatment has completely failed. Rather, it means that a different course of action may be necessary to successfully treat the user in recovery. Regardless of whether a whole new approach or a more intense program is needed, a drug treatment facility can assist the user in developing a new and better plan that’s more beneficial and diminishes the risk of relapse. It’s very dangerous to try and withdraw from opium alone, and therefore best to get professional medical help from appropriate treatment centers or facilities.
Detox treatment centers closely monitor the health of users and make the process more effective and safe for them. A good facility can also offer a customized treatment plan that’s unique to individualized needs. Medical experts can provide key monitoring and deal with any dangerous complications or intense side effects. Additionally, a detox facility will take extensive measures to ensure the user has a successful recovery.
An opium addiction doesn’t have to last forever.
If you have an addiction to opium, you can take the first step towards a drug-free life by calling this hotline number right now: 800-447-9081.
With the right help, you can get back to living a healthy, productive life.