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Opium Abuse and Drug Interactions

Opium Abuse and Drug InteractionsOpium is one of the most ancient drugs in the world. Derived from certain poppies, the root chemical has been refined for centuries into a variety of distillates, including the following:

  • Morphine
  • Demerol
  • Heroin
  • Oxycodone

But the original drug is still available around the world and is occasionally prescribed in certain forms for specialized pain relief. Many people mistakenly believe that because opium is a naturally occurring substance it is somehow safer than its more infamous cousins. The fact is that opium is highly addictive and especially dangerous when combined with other chemicals.

How Opium Works in the Body

A wide range of physiological and psychological functions are controlled by a very sensitive system of chemical messages in the central nervous system, including the following:

  • Pain signals
  • Emotional response
  • Anxiety
  • Fear or insecurity

Opium binds to specialized chemical receptors in the brain and thus prevents them from transmitting emotional or physical pain signals. It also floods the pleasure center of the brain with a massive jolt of euphoria and acts as a central nervous system depressant; slowing cardiopulmonary activity. Opium and its derivatives make excellent pain medication, but carry a high risk for addiction as the brain will immediately crave the physical and emotional relief it offers. These cravings function much more powerfully in the brain than rational thought or will.

Specific Opium Drug Interaction Risks

The following interactions carry high risks of serious adverse reactions or even death:

  • Combining opium with other narcotics such as those listed above can lead to overdose, central nervous system shutdown, coma and death
  • Combining opium with alcohol can lead to dangerously decreased heart and lung function
  • Mixing opium with psychotropic drugs such as antidepressant benzodiazepines can lead to seizures, coma or death

There are very few legitimate uses of opium in medical circles any longer. One remaining, but rare, use is a suppository known as belladonna / opium that is used to treat severe gastrointestinal pain or disease. This drug should never be combined with any other painkillers, alcohol or other medication without the specific permission of a physician.

Opium Addiction Recovery Assistance

Opium addiction is both physical and psychological. The drug replaces naturally occurring pain and anxiety managing chemicals in the brain. When an addict stops taking the drug they are left with a shortage of these substances and will experience a range of withdrawal symptoms until their body can re-establish its natural balance. Some of the symptoms of opiate withdrawal include the following:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever, chills and cold sweats
  • Skin crawls
  • Diarrhea
  • Intense anxiety or paranoia
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Headache and light sensitivity
  • Pain in the muscles, bones and joints
  • Severe depression or suicidal thoughts or actions

The physical symptoms of withdrawal tend to fade in a matter of days, but the psychological cravings can last for months or even years. Lasting recovery requires comprehensive rehabilitation of the mind. This is accomplished through carefully chosen group and individual counseling techniques and specialized skill development and education. The most successful recovery programs also use long-term aftercare and ongoing support to help addicts stay clean.

Call for Opium Abuse Help Today

Our toll-free helpline is available any time of night or day with specially trained counselors ready to answer your questions and to connect you with the best recovery program for your specific needs. Don’t risk your health – or even your life – by continuing to abuse opium or other drugs. We can help. Call today.