Opium is an analgesic drug, which means that it’s primarily a painkiller. Opium is derived from poppies, but its natural origins don’t make it any less harmful. Whether users smoke, sip, inject or take opium in any derivative form, it’s a dangerous drug. Learning more about opium drug effects can show you just how risky using and abusing it can be.
The Desired Effects of Opium Use
There are generally two effects that users desire from opiates. The first is pain relief. The second is a strong sense of euphoria.
Doctors prescribe a staggering number of opioid drugs each year to reduce chronic pain. However, many patients develop addictions to these opiates. As a result, they may continue to take opioid drugs for far longer than their physician intends.
These individuals continue taking opium because, without it, they may begin to suffer from withdrawal symptoms. These can intensify discomfort, at least in the short term. Many people are afraid to stop taking opium, so they continue even when it brings unpleasant side effects.
The second effect that users desire is a sense of euphoria. Many users want to feel relaxed and removed from the stress of everyday life. Opiates can also sometimes serve as a kind of sleep aid for users with insomnia.
Short-Term Side Effects of Opium Drug Use
Taking opium, or any other opioid drugs can immediately lead to unpleasant side effects. Even a single dose, and even the user’s first dose can cause side effects.
Right away, users are likely to become drowsy. Individuals may start to feel mentally foggy, or they might forget what they were doing. Overall lethargy typically sets in, leaving users with no energy to do anything.
Nausea is also a common side effect. Many users report wanting to vomit for hours at a time. Respiratory depression is possible as well since opiates depress the central nervous system (CNS). For some users, paranoia can also kick in shortly after opioid consumption.
Long-Term Physical Impact of Opiate Abuse
Over time, opium drug side effects can worsen. Even when physicians prescribe these drugs, people aren’t meant to use opiates as a long-term medication. The body can’t handle the effects of opium for a prolonged period of time.
Gastrointestinal distress is a common complaint of long-term opiate users. Chronic constipation is normal with opiate addiction. This can be very uncomfortable and lead to more severe problems like abdominal distention and bowel obstruction.
Opiates slow down respiration, which can lead to a lack of oxygen in the brain. This is called hypoxia and can result in serious, lasting brain damage.
Opiate use can also damage the liver. Taking opiates long-term demands a lot from the liver, and the toxic drugs can sometimes be too much.
Recognizing an Opium Addiction
Spotting an opioid addiction isn’t always easy. Some individuals have prescriptions, but still clearly have a dependence. The clearest signs of an addiction include tolerance and withdrawal.
Tolerance is when individuals need increasing amounts of the drug to feel okay. People increasing their dosage or doctor shopping for multiple prescriptions fall into this category.
The second issue is withdrawal. If trying to cut back or quit causes unpleasant symptoms, then addiction is likely a problem.
Treating an Addiction to Opiates
Opium drug addiction is challenging to overcome. However, recovery is absolutely possible thanks to professional medical treatment. Professionals in addiction treatment often use the following methods:
- Behavioral therapy
- Group therapy
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Experiential treatment
- Holistic therapy
If you’re struggling with an opium addiction, take the first step to recovery. At Pinnacle Peak Recovery in Scottsdale, Arizona, there is a range of programs available to help you achieve sobriety. Call 866-954-0524 and begin your journey to health today.