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How Harmful Is Psychological Dependence on Opium?

How Harmful Is Psychological Dependence on Opium?

As challenging as it is to overcome a physical opium addiction, the psychological addiction is much more harmful

Many people believe that the physical aspects of opium addiction are the most challenging to overcome, but the psychological dependence may plague users for much longer. In fact, although a bodily need for opium is a serious problem, psychological dependence can haunt people for months or years after detox ends.

How Does Psychological Opium Dependence Work?

Opium blocks physical and emotional pain by binding to specialized sites in the brain. These sites send and receive pain signals throughout the central nervous system, so, by blocking them, opium creates overwhelming feelings of relief and euphoria. This drug also blocks production of natural “feel good” chemicals in the brain, which means that, when opiates are no longer available, users will experience withdrawal symptoms like pain, flu-like symptoms, tremors or even seizures. These symptoms subside in a matter of days or weeks as the body reestablishes its natural chemical balance.

Opium directly affects the part of the brain that manages the following functions:

  • The formation and recollection of memories
  • Impulse control
  • Stress, anxiety and tolerance for discomfort
  • Sleeping and waking
  • Sexual function
  • Emotional management

The brain recognizes that opium relieves any kind of emotional pain, so it uses these aforementioned tools to demand relief repeatedly. Opiates change the neural chemistry of the brain: they hardwire addictive behaviors into the mind, which tends to overwhelm rational thought.

Symptoms of Psychological Opium Addiction

A psychological opium dependence often causes the following symptoms:

  • Mood swings
  • Obsession with having a supply of the drug
  • A willingness to engage in illegal or unethical behavior to have the drug
  • Dishonesty with friends or loved ones about drug use
  • Personality changes
  • Blaming others for your addictive behavior

Another common result of opium dependence is that, as a user’s tolerance for the drug increases, she needs larger, more frequent doses to achieve desired results. Many opium addicts eventually turn to prescription painkillers or heroin when opium no longer satisfies them or is no longer available.

Overcoming a Psychological Opium Dependence

Overcoming a psychological opium dependence requires rehab for the body and mind along with treatment for any co-occurring psychological disorders, such as depression, anxiety or personality disorders. This type of care is often available in inpatient formats for a month or longer, with long-term aftercare through extended counseling, support group meetings and education.

Opium Dependence Help

If you have questions about psychological opium addiction, or if you would like to be connected to a treatment program today, then call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline anytime. The call is completely confidential, and there are no strings attached, so make the call to begin overcoming opium addiction.