Opium is latex which is derived through the opium poppy, which is a species of plant. Opium contains alkaloid morphine, which can be used to produce other opioids, including heroin. Opium is one of the world’s oldest drugs, having been produced since ancient times. It has been used as a recreational drug for centuries due to the pleasurable effects it has, but users are subject to addiction and other problems. Opium is illegal to use or sell in many countries.
Those who use opium can quickly become dependent, even after a few uses. Those that become addicted to the drug will be dependent on it both physically and psychologically. Addicts that attempt to quit the drug will experience severe withdrawal effects, some of which can be debilitating. The most powerful chemical found in opium is morphine. It is responsible for most of the effects that people who use this drug experience. Opium mimics the effects which are typically found in endorphins, which are the neurotransmitters associated with the regulation of pain and pleasure.
Warning Signs of Opium Addiction
There are a number of warning signs which indicate someone may be addicted to opium. Many of these signs involve changes in behavior or health issues. Addicts may find it hard to perform a bowel movement, and in severe cases they may experience vomiting or nausea. The vision of addicts may become blurred, and both the lips and fingernails may turn blue. Opium users may display increased anxiety, as well as confusion, disorientation or cold sweats. Other signs of opium addiction include:
- Small or constricted pupils
- Rapid or loud breathing
- Skin which is clammy
- Breathing problems
- Dizziness and sleep deprivation
- Hallucinations with a rapid heart beat
- Lightheadedness or fainting
- Drowsiness or hunger
- Mood swings or behavioral changes
Side Effects of Opium Abuse
Heavy opium users will experience a variety of side effects. Some of these side effects are specific to this drug while others are similar to the effects seen with other controlled substances. Opium users may become nervous and experience nightmares while sleeping. While many drugs will reduce the appetite of addicts, opium may actually increase it. The speech of opium addicts may become slurred, and they may also display a heartbeat which is irregular. Other side effects seen with this substance are:
- Severe fatigue or exhaustion
- Swelling in the ankles or legs
- Shaky or jerky movement
- Low blood pressure
- Profuse sweating
- Headaches and hallucinations
Once a user becomes addicted to opium, it is very unlikely that they can overcome their addiction without professional help. The withdrawal symptoms associated with this drug are extreme, which makes recovery even harder.
This is why rehab services exist, to assist those in overcoming their addiction and living a normal life. There are many treatment programs available, and the one you choose should be based on your budget and needs. Those entering rehab will need to be assessed to determine the severity of their addiction. Once this has been done, an effective treatment program can be initiated.
Contact us today at NeuroPsychiatric Addiction Clinic to learn how we can assist you in overcoming your addiction to live the life you deserve.