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Cultural Issues Related to Opium Addiction

Cultural Issues Related to Opium AddictionSome cultures abused opium on a daily basis to provide relaxation, religious ceremonies and cultural events. Opium is also used to treat severe pain, and was very popular during the Civil War. This kind of drug abuse resulted in countless addictions and other resulting problems. While opium is not a prescribed medication, morphine, codeine and thebaine are opium extracts that are available legally. Morphine and codeine are often used in their natural state or in combination with other drugs to create more powerful painkillers. Cultures may influence opium abuse, so treatment must address those problems on top of the addiction.

Effects of Opium

Opium can provide the following pleasurable effects:

  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation
  • Numbness from pain
  • Less anxiety

However, people become tolerant to opiates and become addicted as they adjust their doses on their own. Opium addiction will create the following problems:

  • Diminished bodily responses
  • Appetite and weight loss
  • Impaired mental abilities
  • Decreased sexual urge
  • Vision impairment
  • Abnormal mood swings
  • Excessive urination

These physical and psychological problems greatly affect one’s daily activities, which may lead to depression or anxiety.

How Culture Influences Opium Abuse

According to the Central Intelligence Agency, worldwide opium production has doubled since the mid-1980s. This has resulted in greater heroin availability, rising purity and lower prices. Unfortunately, these increase heroin-related medical emergencies, arrests and crime, which indicate that heroin consumption remains a growing problem throughout the world. The UN Drug Control Program estimates that there are some 8 million heroin abusers worldwide.

With such a large pool of cultural influences, it is often difficult to identify which ones influence opium abuse. However, people with mental health issues, personality disorders or who have suffered with severe trauma are often more susceptible to substance abuse.

How to Help an Opium Addict

Opium and its various derivatives are a significant health issue for every culture. It is important for people to understand addiction and to learn as much as possible about the warning signs of substance abuse. The sooner a person gets the treatment he needs, the greater the opportunity of living without drugs. Learn about drug addiction treatment options and intervention strategies so that you are prepared should you need to intervene with a drug user.

Opium Addiction Help

Call us to ask questions about your opium use. To be assured of confidentiality and to receive answers to your questions, call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline anytime. We want to help you find the right treatment program to handle opium addiction, and we can provide you with treatment options, information about insurance and resources.