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Opium

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 Withdrawal

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.

When first used, opium can give users a feeling of euphoria, extreme calm, or well being. Their troubles may seem unimportant and nothing else really matters, except for the fact that the drug works. But often nightmares and hallucinations may come into play when the affects of the drug wears off. At that point, individuals with an opium addiction will often need more of the opium to satisfy their need for more. As time goes on, the addict develops an increasing tolerance to the effects of the drug, and more and more of the drug is needed to produce the initial effect of euphoria. Many individuals who suffer from an addiction to opium will eventually gets symptoms of withdrawal after years of using opium.

Opium Withdrawal symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • nausea
  • sweating
  • cramps
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle spasms
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • mood swings
  • insomnia

Opium Overdose

Opium is the crudest form and also the least potent of the Opiate family. 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 mass and is smoked, eaten, or injected.

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. Opium first produces a feeling of pleasure and euphoria, but with its continued use the body demands larger amounts to achieve the same sense of well-being.

It is possible to overdose on opium. It is easier to overdose via an oral dose of opium. The habitual use of opium produces physical and mental deterioration. An acute overdose of opium causes respiratory depression which can be fatal.

  • Overdose is usually not fatal, but is far more likely to be fatal if the person is alone.
  • 2 out of 3 overdoses (fatal and non-fatal) occur when the person is alone at home.
  • Heroin is not the only cause of overdose. People can become unconscious as a result of using other illicit drugs and/or alcohol.
  • After not using or reducing use for any period of time, or while on a treatment program, a return to previous levels of use presents a high risk of overdose.

Opium Side Effects

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. Opium is highly addictive. Tolerance (the need for higher and higher doses to maintain the same effect) and physical and psychological dependence develop quickly.

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.

Opium side effects include but are not limited to:

  • malnutrition
  • respiratory complications
  • low blood pressure

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