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Opium Addiction and Abuse

All About Opium Addiction and Abuse and Why You Need Treatment

Opium addiction is something that you don’t hear much about today. Years ago, it was common to abuse this drug as a way to get high. Please be assured that it still alive and well in various parts of the country.

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If you’re someone who is abusing this drug, you need to know how dangerous it is. You may enjoy the high that results from using it, but that high comes with a price. You may already be addicted to it, and if that’s the case, you need to know where you can get help. We’d like to provide you with all the information you need.

What is the Opium Drug?

Opium is a dried latex material that is made from the poppy plant. 12% of this plant is made up of morphine. This is the drug that is used to produce many pain medications, as well as heroin.

Opium is processed through a method called scoring or scratching. The immature seed pods (papaver somniferum seeds) are all processed by hand. These seeds have been selectively reproduced over the years. This means that today’s version of this drug is much different from what people used hundreds of years ago.

Opium Addiction Information

People have used this drug since prehistoric times. It was once used medicinally as a way to help with pain. Doctors would use it during their surgical procedures for this purpose. It has been used to treat additional conditions as well, including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dysentery
  • Bronchitis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Cholera

This drug has been the subject of a lot of controversy over the years. In 1909, Congress passed the Opium Exclusion Act. This was a law that banned the importation of this drug for smoking. Two opium wars have been fought; one in 1840 and one in 1856. Both were centered on the trading of this drug between several countries.

Today, this powerful substance is used to make opiate drugs. The opium drug list is quite long, but a few of the ones you may be familiar with include:

  • Heroin
  • Morphine
  • Methadone
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • Buprenex
  • Demerol
  • Lorcet
  • Oxycontin

Of course, these drugs are not nearly as powerful as this one. However, they can all be abused, and many people do. This is why our country is currently facing a known opioid epidemic.

Statistics on Opium Abuse in the United States

The Global Information Network About Drugs (GINAD) offers some interesting statistics about this drug. They tell us that:


In 2002, there were about 5,000 tons of it produced across the globe.


By 2006, that number had gone up to more than 7,000.


According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, 193 hectares of Afghanistan land was being used to produce it.


In 2010, about 90% of the world’s supply came from Afghanistan.


During that same year, 1.5 million people in that country were addicted to this drug.

Additional statistics tell us that production has doubled since the 1980s. More than 13 million people all over the world report using it. Many of these are right here in the United States.

It might not be a drug that people talk about much, but it’s still a problem. If you’re a current user, you could have an addiction. If you do, going to an opium treatment facility should be a top priority.

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Why do People Abuse it?

People tend to abuse opium for a number of reasons. It is a relatively cheap drug, so it might be a better financial option that heroin or other opiates. Someone may turn to this drug after having used prescription drugs because they enjoy the euphoric high.

For someone who is looking for this drug, they won’t have much trouble finding it. In a world where other opiates are mixed with dangerous substances, this drug is relatively clean. This is even truer when it is purchased in its raw form, which many people do. It can’t be laced or mixed with anything else. This is one of the things that has drawn people to it. They assume that it must be safer than their other options.

It’s important to state that any use of opium at all is considered to be abuse. This drug has been banned, so it serves no medicinal purpose. It produces a potent high that is very addictive. It might not take long for a person to become an addict once they start abusing it.

People can take opium in a number of different ways. Smoking it seems to be the most common. Smoking opium allows the drug to enter the brain quickly. People generally use a special pipe that is designed for this purpose.

It’s also possible to eat the drug or mix it in a drink for consumption. Some people may mix the powdered form with a liquid and inject it. However, this method of administration is very dangerous. Injecting this drug can put someone at risk for several infectious diseases. If a user is sure of its purity, injecting it might be desired in order to feel the effects of it faster.

The Side Effects of This Narcotic Drug

Like any drug, this one does have some side effects. When people first start taking it, they tend to be relatively minor. This can lead them to believe that the drug is safe for them to use.

This opiate is a drug that can cause some psychological side effects. Taking it can result in:

  • Feelings of confusion
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • The onset of depression
  • Feeling disoriented
  • Swift mood swings

For many people the thrill of the euphoria will keep them using this substance in spite of the side effects. As you will see in just a moment, using it long-term can have more serious behavioral consequences.

This is a drug that does carry some physical side effects as well. These can include:

  • Developing a skin rash
  • Itchy skin
  • Breaking out in hives
  • Developing welts on the skin
  • Bouts of constipation
  • Nausea with or without vomiting

Like with the psychological side effects, many people will ignore these. They may hope that they’ll go away in time, or getting high may just be more important.

Many of the short-term effects of opium are pleasant in nature. People enjoy them, which is why they keep using this drug. As it floods the brain, the systems of the body start to shut down. This causes them to feel almost like they’re dreaming. This drug can also lead to decreased anxiety, which may be another reason people are drawn to it.

Even with short-term use, it’s possible to experience some negative side effects. These include:

  • Having problems with breathing
  • Rapid changes in body temperature
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Slower movements than normal
  • Excessive drowsiness
  • Mental fog
  • Constipation

The long-term effects of opium are definitely much more concerning. Most people don’t realize what a dangerous drug this really is. It’s possible that this is because it was once legal, and regularly used recreationally.

The long-term effects include:

  • Increased toxins in the lungs for those who are smoking it
  • Low oxygen levels in the body
  • A weaker immune system
  • Flushing skin
  • Sexual impotence in men
  • Eventually, increased anxiety
  • Eventually, increased pain
  • Anger and irritability

People who use this drug will also begin to ignore any health problems that may come up. This can cause more severe medical issues to develop as time goes on.

Will Abusing Opium Eventually Lead to an Addiction?

Someone who abuses this substance long enough will eventually become addicted to it. People often want to know how long it takes to develop an opium addiction. The answer is that there is no definite answer to this question. Everyone is different. Some people may get addicted to it quickly, while others may take a very long time.

Any time you are abusing a drug, the potential for addiction is there. You won’t get much of a warning before you’re simply not able to stop using it. If you’re still in the “drug abuse” stage of your use, the best time to stop using it is right now.

“Am I addicted?” This is the question that many opium users ask themselves. Usually, no one intends to become addicted to any type of drug. Many even consider themselves to be immune to addiction. They believe that they can stop using whenever they want to. Perhaps you’ve fallen for this myth as well.

The truth is that you could be addicted, and if you are, you need to know. You might want to start by looking for some of the more common signs of opium addiction. These can include:

  • Consistently planning your day around when you’ll get to use
  • Feeling strange or odd if you’re not high
  • Struggling to resist using this drug
  • Having cravings for it
  • Becoming defensive or upset at the thought of not using
  • Spending most of your time thinking about using
  • Feeling the need to use when you first wake up in the morning

Are any of these familiar to you? If you can relate to even one of the signs on this list, you should be concerned. It’s possible that you do have an addiction. If you do, please don’t panic. You can get the help you need at an opium treatment center.

If you’re not sure if you need to go to rehab for your opium addiction, there are other steps you can take. You may want to take a quiz that will dig a little deeper into your drug use. You could also talk with a professional in the addiction treatment field and get their recommendation.

The cause for addiction has a very scientific explanation. Researchers have found that there is a link between using drugs and human pleasure. When someone continually uses a substance, the brain experiences a reward. This leads to using that drug more and more. No matter what the drug is, using it causes changes in the brain.

There are also indicators that make someone more susceptible to having an addiction. Scientists have found that genetics do play a role. However, genetics do not doom someone to being an addict. Usually there are other causes as well. A person’s environment can cause them to turn to substances. This means that family culture, home life and peer group all have a part.

More often that not, having a mental health condition can also lead to addiction. This is especially true when that condition is undiagnosed. Anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder are all excellent examples of this.

How to Tell if Someone is High

If you have a loved one who may be using opium, you may spend a lot of time looking for signs. Maybe you’re not familiar with drug use, so you’re not really sure what you should be looking for. There are both physical and psychological signs that someone has been using this drug.

There are several physiological signs that someone you love may be abusing this drug. That person may appear to be in a fog most of the time. When you ask them a question, they may respond with confusion. Their speech may be slurred, and they may have shallow breathing. When they move, their movements will be slower than normal.

You can also tell if someone has been using opium by their pupil size. Normally, pupils should change with the amount of light in the area. If their pupils are very small, and don’t change, this could be an indication of abuse.

You may have noticed that your loved one has become pretty isolated. Maybe they disappear for hours at a time, and you don’t know where they are. This is a clue that they’re using opium.

If they run out of the drug, or miss a dose, withdrawal should set in immediately. You may find that they’re easily angered and very frustrated at the smallest problems. It’s also not uncommon for people to become forgetful.

Even though your loved one may believe they have their drug use under control, don’t believe it. You can easily tell that they don’t by the way they live. Maybe they’ve lost a job recently, or perhaps they’ve lost some close relationships. It’s possible that this substance is the cause.

Quitting Opium and Withdrawals You May Experience

Quitting the use of this drug should only be done in an opium treatment program. Otherwise, withdrawing from it may be very difficult. The symptoms that many people experience are pretty overwhelming.

An opium rehab center has the right tools to help avoid many of the more common withdrawal symptoms. These can include:

  • Intense cravings for the drug
  • Excessive yawning
  • Aches and pains in the muscles
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea or other digestive issues
  • Nausea and vomiting

As far as how long opium withdrawal can last, everyone is different. Someone who has been using higher doses of this drug for a long time, may experience it longer. Most people find that they start to feel better after the third day or so.

It’s best to choose an opium rehab facility to go through withdrawal symptoms. They offer treatments that can help make the process much easier on you physically and mentally.

Going to Opium Rehab for Your Addiction

You should consider getting professional help for your addiction. It’s not always easy to stop taking this drug on your own. Most people find that they need support around the clock in order to be successful.

Your addiction is both physical and mental. That means that both types of treatment are needed.

Detoxing from opium will probably be your first step in recovery. This is important because this is going to help with the physical side of your addiction. Opiate detox is difficult, but there are ways to lighten the burden of it. If you’re scared of going through withdrawal, this is a treatment you definitely want to consider.

There are certain medications that you can take to help you get through withdrawal. You’ll also find that by changing what you eat and exercising, your body processes toxins faster. This will all be explained to you when you start the detox program.

After you’ve gone through detox, you need to consider your next step. There are plenty of opium treatment options available to you. You may find that an inpatient setting offers you the additional support you need. Many people do.

Your opium addiction is going to be a hard problem to beat. Even so, many people do it successfully every year. You’ll be given different types of therapy during your treatment. These will likely include individual sessions, group sessions, and family therapy sessions.

Addressing the reasons behind your addiction is vital to your recovery. This is why treatment is so important for addicts. You need to know why you started using this drug. Once you do, you can take the proper steps to heal correctly.

The Benefits of Finding a Solid Opium Rehab Program

While you might have a lot of treatment options for your opium addiction, finding the right one is vital. You want to be sure you’re getting the best care available. The benefits of this are innumerable.

When you find the best opium rehab, the benefits you’ll experience will include:

  • Having a consistent source of support
  • Having a treatment plan that was designed specifically for you
  • Financial savings because they’ll partner with your insurance company
  • Healing from both sides of your addiction
  • Learning new coping skills to help you avoid relapsing in the future

If You’re Addicted to the Opium Flower, Treatment Can Help You Recover

At Northpoint Recovery, we believe that you may have come to the “fork in the road” of your addiction. If you’re using this drug on a regular basis, you may be addicted to it. If you are, finding the right opium rehab is so important.

We can provide you with the detox services you need, as well as with professional treatment. There’s no reason for you to put off getting help. It’s right here waiting for you.

Do you need to learn more about opium addiction and abuse? Let us know how we can assist you by contacting us today.

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