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What Opium Does to Your Brain Chemistry

What Opium Does to Your Brain Chemistry

Opium abuse can change brain activity, therefore behavior

Opium is a non-synthetic, highly addictive drug derived from the poppy plant. It comes in a powder, solid or liquid form, and is injected, smoked or consumed as a pill. Opium abuse often co-exists with other substance abuse, such as marijuana and methamphetamine.

How Opium Affects the Brain

When people take opium, it affects the brain at different intensities due to how it is administered and at what dose. The drug tends to work very quickly when smoked, because the chemicals are quickly absorbed by the lungs, and they are then transmitted to the brain. The high experienced through opium abuse is quite similar to heroin: opium abusers experience a feeling of euphoria, relief from pain and complete relaxation. The drug can affect the body in several ways; for instance, users may experience lower sex drives, because it affects the transmitters and hormones regulating sexual behavior. Other physical symptoms may include slowed breathing, vomiting, nausea and a tense gastrointestinal tract. Like heroin, opium can easily lead to overdose and death.

Opium affects the brain as the drug binds to several receptor sites that control physiology, mood, movement, breathing, body temperature and digestion. Opium makes these neurotransmitters react as they would under extreme stress.

Brain Activity and Opium Addiction

Another way opium abuse affects the brain is by forming an addiction. This type of addiction is among the most difficult to overcome, and it is quite dangerous. Although people may experience a euphoric rush the first time they abuse opium, addiction does not always occur with the first use. However, the first time the drug is used does affect brain activity in such a way that its function and structure are altered.

Opium also affects emotions and motivation. Opium abuse can change brain activity, therefore behavior. Addiction can brain activity by changing how nerve cells communicate. This leads to uncontrollable, compulsive drug use and dependence. Opium addiction can also change the shapes and synapses of the brain, so chronic opium addiction leads to structural changes in the brain.

With prolonged opium addiction, the brain will adapt to need the drug to function. Without the drug, an addict will experience severe withdrawal symptoms, like a low mood, irritability and anxiety. Brain abnormalities may persist even after an individual stops taking opium. In other words, it is quite dangerous to abuse this drug, and you must seek professional help to recover from abusing it.

Opium addiction requires professional medical treatment for users to get and stay clean. Our addiction helpline is toll free and available 24 hours a day. Our admissions coordinators can provide you all the information and resources you need on opium addiction and treatment.