Treatment for any sort of substance use disorder can come in many shapes and sizes. After all, there is no one-size-fits-all method for addiction treatment. For example, the treatment someone may need for a mild alcohol use disorder looks much different than the treatment someone may need for the opium effects that a person may feel due to suffering from severe opium addiction.
What Is Opium?
What is opium, you ask? Well, opium is a particular kind of drug that derives from the poppy plant. It is a depressant, which means that when taken, the messages the brain receives from the body are delayed.
Opium is one of the earliest known medicinal plants. The use of opium to treat people began sometime around 3000 BCE. The Sumerians used opium to treat pain. Just because this is the earliest record of opium for medicinal use though does not mean it’s the first time society has ever used it.
The opium plant is made up of a milky substance called latex. Latex possesses chemicals like morphine and codeine, making the plant an ideal candidate for pain relief. But how is opium made? In a nutshell, the latex is taken from the opium pods and dried, then boiled, and then dried again. Opium also has a strange, potent smell to it. It’s a sticky, brown gum that can be made into a liquid or a powder.
When it comes to how opium is used, the substance is pretty versatile. It can be smoked, eaten, swallowed as a pill, or used as tincture oil. It can also be made into heroin, fentanyl, or other substances.
Does Opium Have Other Names?
There are many names for opium, some of which include the following:
- Aunti Emma
- Black Pill
- Chinese Molasses
- Big O
- Dream Gun
- Midnight Oil
Some different kinds of dangerous opioids also exist. These include the following:
What Does Opium Do to You?
No matter the substance, drugs affect whoever takes them. Whether it’s a small or large impact, there is not a safe way to abuse drugs. This is why, when taking any kind of prescription, it is imperative to monitor how you feel while you’re on it. Some effects of opium include the following:
- Slowed breathing
- Impaired motor coordination
- Loss of appetite
The effects of opium are dependent on a variety of factors. Some of these factors include weight, BMI, overall health, and others. Some alternative factors include the following:
- Frequency of use
- Presence of other drugs
- The volume of the drug taken
- The strength of the batch consumed
Dangerous Opium Effects
When it comes to opium effects, there are many dangers to consider. For example, in some cases, opium has been known to slow down a person’s breathing. This could cause a person to go unconscious or even die (if the dose is bigger).
Other opium effects may include nausea, numbness, loss of appetite, constipation, and dryness of the mouth or nose. When someone uses opium with another substance like alcohol, benzos, or anesthetics, they are at risk of developing life-threatening respiratory depression.
As far as becoming addicted to opium is concerned, if someone uses opium even a few times, it can lead to tolerance. When someone becomes tolerant of any drug, he or she needs more of it to experience the high of its first use. Over time, this compromises the pleasure center of the brain, causing a person’s reward system to become distorted. After a while, if the body isn’t achieving the high it received before and more opium is taken, the chance of overdose becomes more and more likely.
Using a vast amount of opium could cause a person to overdose and die. If this happens, it is imperative to call an ambulance immediately. Fear of getting involved with the police should never be a concern when your life or the life of a loved one is at stake.
If a person neglects to get help for an opium overdose, he or she could die or suffer from long-term brain damage if they survive.
When someone combines multiple substances at one time, the likelihood of an overdose increases. Some people will take opium with a stimulant like cocaine. This will send contradicting signals to the body (because opium is a depressant). This can also put a massive strain on the body (specifically the heart).
Mixing opium with stimulants such as cocaine may even cause adverse opium effects, like not getting the high someone wants. Such adverse opium effects increase the risk of overdose.
How Can You Tell If Someone Has Overdosed?
When someone overdoses on any drug, it is a scary circumstance to encounter. How can you be sure if someone is experiencing an opium overdose? You don’t want to over-react, but you’re not sure if they’re overdosing.
There is no such thing as being too careful when it comes to drug overdose, especially with opium. Some symptoms of opium overdose include the following:
- Slowed breathing
- Shrunken pupils
What is the Long-Term Impact of Opium Abuse?
As with any substance, repeated long-term abuse of opium has a massive impact on one’s quality of life. Some effects of long-term opium use include the following:
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Decreased sex drive
- Sporadic periods
- Difficulty conceiving
What Does Opium Withdrawal Look Like?
Using opium for a prolonged period of time can lead to massive withdrawal symptoms. As with any drug, the body of a person that consistently abuses opium has to adjust to being without the substance. This is because, when the body becomes dependent on a certain amount of a substance to function correctly, withdrawal follows shortly behind it. To make matters worse, the withdrawal symptoms from opium are similar to that of opioids.
Opium withdrawal symptoms begin as early as six hours after someone has taken his or her last dose of opium. What’s worse is that the withdrawal period lasts anywhere from seven to ten days. Opium withdrawal symptoms include the following:
- Muscle soreness
- Intense heart palpitations
Other Dangers of Opium Use
Opium has also been known to contain lead in some cases. Where it comes from is unknown, but it could derive from the process of opium being broken down. The equipment used to process opium could be the culprit, as well as someone intentionally lacing it with lead, or contaminating soil the plant has already grown in. This can have some extreme results such as organ damage or failure.
How Do I Get Help for Opium Addiction?
Addiction is not an easy road to walk down by any stretch of the imagination. Taking the first step, however, is an important one. In fact, that’s worth celebrating; it’s progress.
There are many opium addiction treatment options. Some of these options include the following:
- Inpatient Treatment
- Outpatient Treatment
- Medically Assisted Treatment
Inpatient residential treatment is when an individual suffering from a more severe case of addiction stays overnight at a treatment facility while receiving care. This method of care ranges anywhere from 28 days to over six months depending on the severity of one’s condition.
People in inpatient addiction treatment participate in weekly, sometimes daily, therapy (whether it be in a group, individually, or with family). A person in inpatient addiction treatment may fulfill his or her treatment requirements throughout the day and then shortly after enjoy the amenities of the rehab facility that he or she is receiving addiction treatment at.
Outpatient addiction treatment is the precise opposite of inpatient rehab. For example, inpatient recovery is for those who suffer from more severe forms of a substance use or co-occurring disorders, while outpatient treatment is meant for those who suffer from milder forms of substance use or co-occurring disorders.
People who participate in outpatient care attend therapy anywhere from 10-12 hours throughout the week. Such treatment allows for an individual to achieve recovery while also managing the responsibilities of everyday life.
Drug withdrawal is a hard part of recovery. This, however, doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to make it bearable. When a person wants to quit abusing substances but suffers from drug withdrawal, it’s difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. This is why medically-assisted detox exists.
Medically assisted detox programs provide individuals with the medicine that they need to curb the symptoms of withdrawal. This allows individuals to be weaned off of drugs comfortably and successfully.
Find Harmony With Yourself – Call Us Today
When it comes to substance use disorder, there is no one-size-fits-all method of care. Every person is different and struggles in his or her own way. This is why at Harmony Place, we are committed to providing each person who walks through our doors with the utmost individualized care. If you or a loved one is suffering from a substance use disorder and would like to find out more, you can contact us here.