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Why Opium Isn’t Harmless

Why Opium Isn’t Harmless

If you take opium for too long, you begin to believe that you cannot function without it

Television and movies have made drug use look like a positive experience. Images of groups of people laughing together and enjoying themselves without any negative consequences may cause some people to believe that drug use is harmless. One of the drugs that may be perceived as harmless is opium.

Basics About Opium

Opium is a highly addictive drug that is derived from the white liquid inside the poppy plant. It is brown or back in color and tar-like in substance. It contains both codeine and morphine, and it can be processed chemically to produce heroin. Taken as an injection, opium-based heroin is extremely potent. One reason opium (and its derivative drugs) is so addictive is because it is similar to endorphins in the brain. When you take opium, the brain interprets it the same as it would an extreme rush of endorphins—which provides a sense of euphoria, relaxation and elation—and thus craves more and more. As a result, physical and psychological addictions develop rapidly.

Dangers of Opium

All drugs will produce side effects, even prescription drugs. Opium will cause side effects that can be physically damaging to the body. Short-term side effects of taking opium include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Deteriorated mental function
  • Weakened immune system
  • Slowed breathing
  • Coma
  • Overdose
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased risk of HIV and hepatitis (if used intravenously)

Long-term side effects of opium usage include:

  • Damaged veins
  • Infection in the heart
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Lung damage
  • Brain damage

While opium makes a person feel great, that feeling doesn’t last forever. If you stop taking opium, your body will go into painful withdrawal because your body has become physically dependent on the drug. Withdrawal symptoms of opium include:

  • Tremors
  • High blood pressure
  • Back pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Clammy skin
  • Mood swings
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Extreme anxiety
  • Insomnia

These side effects are so painful that some people will go back on opium just to avoid the withdrawal symptoms. While the physical withdrawal symptoms of opium use will eventually become manageable after detox, the psychological effects of opium addiction take longer to overcome. If you take opium for too long, you begin to believe that you cannot function without it. You think that you need the drug to deal with stress, trauma and other negative feelings and situations. Without dealing with the psychological addiction, you will likely relapse again into opium use. This underscores how addictive and dangerous opium is and why getting professional help is so critical.

During rehab, you will undergo detox, which is the process by which the body gets rid of the opium. You will also engage in therapy to deal with the triggers that led you to begin using opium in the first place. You will also learn tools and skills to help you deal with the stresses and difficulties of life without returning to opium use.

Getting Help for Your Opium Addiction

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, we can help. You can call our toll-free helpline any time, 24 hours a day. We are available seven days a week. You can talk with one of our admissions coordinators. These coordinators understand the nature of opium addiction and can help you find the best treatment option for you. Don’t believe the lie that opium is harmless. It’s not. Call us today and get the help you need.