What is Opium?
Opium, an extract from the poppy plant, is a non-synthetic narcotic that has been in use for several millennia. The opium “high” is a rush of euphoria accompanied by pain relief and relaxation. Many other narcotics such as morphine and heroin come from opium. The term “narcotic” specifically refers to opium. Opium derivatives and opium semi-synthetic substitutes, also known as “opioids”, are found in most pain medications. Opium is distributed as a liquid, powder or solid and can be taken in multiple ways. Individuals can easily build tolerance for and dependence on this highly addictive drug. Opium detox and rehab should take place with experts and medical professionals on hand to monitor and address all aspects of opium addiction and abuse.
Common Street Names
Given opium’s long-standing history, it has many nicknames. These include:
- Aunti Emma
- Big O
- Black Pill
- Chinese Molasses
- Chinese Tobacco
- Dover’s Powder
- Dream Gun
- Dream Stick
- Easing Powder
- God’s Medicine
- Great Tobacco
- Joy Plant
- Midnight Oil
- Pen Yan
- Pin Gon
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, opium is classified as a Schedule II drug. Other opioids have been placed in a range of classifications from Schedule I through Schedule V. Schedule II substances have a high risk for physical and psychological dependence.
Drug History and Trends in Usage
Opium has a tumultuous past dating back to 4000-3000 B.C. passing from empire to empire, opium made its way through the Sumerians, Assyrians, Babylonians and Egyptians. Use continued to spread through the Mediterranean and into Europe, Persia, India and China. Intake methods varied and included smoking, eating and drinking opium for medical and recreational purposes, as well as combining it with other substances.
Opium comes from a fluid within the poppy seed pod. There are naturally occurring opioids derived from opium (like morphine and codeine) and there are semi-synthetic opioids which are synthesized from naturally occurring (non-synthetic) opioids. Fully synthetic opioids are lab made. Many semi-synthetic and fully synthetic opioid products are pharmaceuticals. Examples of semi-synthetic opioids include oxycodone and hydrocodone. Heroin is a semi-synthetic opioid made from morphine. Methadone is a synthetic opioid.
Throughout its history, various laws and bans have moved opium and opioids back and forth in legal status around the world. Many countries and governments have worked hard to combat the widespread use and addiction of opioids. Opium is even responsible for two wars between England and China in the 1800s. In the United States, many opioids have medicinal use and are available via prescription only; however, all prescribed opioids still have a risk of dependence even when used according to the doctor’s orders.
Sold in liquid, powder and solid form, opium can be injected, swallowed and smoked. When smoked, the effects hit quickly as it gets absorbed directly from the lungs. Other drugs may be abused in conjunction with opium. Some illicit opium drug combinations include marijuana and methamphetamine.
Side Effects of Opium
Using opium can have very dangerous consequences and results in physical and psychological dependence. Opium drug effects include constipation, dry mouth, nausea and dizziness. Mental deterioration, immune system repression and weight loss may also occur. Opium overdose is possible, with effects including seizures, slow breathing, weakness, loss of consciousness, dizziness, coma and even death.
Signs of Opium Addiction and Abuse
Opium addiction must be recognized and addressed through opium detox and rehab. The opium drug effects listed might be pronounced enough to be noted by loved ones. Other social and physical signs that an addiction is present include:
- Negligence of responsibilities (such as work, school or family obligations)
- Prioritization of drug use over everything else including loved ones
- Uncontrollable compulsion to use the drug
- Poor grooming habits
- Lying and manipulation
- Appearance of withdrawal symptoms
Withdrawal Symptoms of Opium
If withdrawal symptoms appear during a break in drug usage, this is a clear sign of dependence. Withdrawal symptoms may exhibit in the following ways:
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Loss of appetite
- Drug craving
- Severe depression
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- An alternating combination of chills, flushing and sweating
Treatment for Opium Addiction and Abuse
As with all addictions, opium detox and rehab require a multi-faceted approach that deals with the psychological aspects of opium addiction as well as the physical dependence. Medical and addiction professionals should be utilized during the process to ensure the best possible outcome and minimize the possibility of relapse.
Let our medical and addiction professionals at White Sands Tampa ensure that your withdrawal/detox process goes smoothly, comfortably, and painfully. Don’t do this alone. Let White Sands Tampa help. Call us now at 1-877-640-7820.