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Opium Abuse, Addiction and Available Treatment Options

Opium Addiction and Abuse: Information About Detox, Rehab and Recovery

While opium abuse and addiction is not as common as it once was, this drug is still widely misused in the United States. Professional treatment is often needed for anyone who is addicted to it. But it can be challenging to even come close to asking for help once a person is addicted to this drug. It has a powerful hold on the user, which makes it difficult to recover.

But that does not mean that it cannot be done with the proper support. People use opium for any number of reasons. Because it is an opioid drug, it can help relieve pain. It also produces a euphoric high that can be very addictive. What many abusers do not realize is that this drug is dangerous, and it can have lasting effects.

We want to do our part to make people more aware of the dangers of opium. It is a known drug of abuse, and continuing to misuse it is likely to lead to an addiction that is extremely hard to break. The best way to recover is through detox and rehab at a reputable facility.

What is Opium?

Opium is a drug that comes from the pods of poppy seeds, and it has been around for centuries. During the 17th century, the use of this drug spread to North America from China. At that time, it was used medicinally as a painkiller. But it did not take long before people began abusing it. Eventually, many people became addicted to it.

Today, opium is used to make heroin, which comes from morphine derived from the poppy plant. It is a highly addictive narcotic drug that has a bitter taste.

Opium was first used by the ancient Greeks and Romans as a painkiller. It was primarily grown in Southeast Asia by the Sumerians. Years ago, opium dens were extremely popular. These were places where the drug could be bought and sold, and they were usually located in China, Europe and parts of Southeast Asia.

Opium Addiction Information

Opium Abuse Facts: How Does Opium Affect the Body?

When most people begin using opium, they do so without any concerns for the negative effects the drug can have on the body. Instead, they focus on the short-term effects of opium, which can include a sensation of euphoria, relaxation and a reduced feeling of anxiousness. However, as time goes on, the long-term effects of opium start to come to the surface. These may begin in a few months, or they could occur in a matter of weeks. They include:

  • Becoming emotionally detached
  • Feeling very sleepy most of the time
  • Intense mood swings
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Less energy than normal
  • Problems with concentration 

As time goes on, if opium use is not ceased, a coma or death may result.

Opium Information: The Signs of Opium Addiction

It’s quite common for many people to live their lives in denial that they’re suffering from an opium addiction. For them, they feel as though they’re opium usage is completely under their control, and they honestly feel that they can stop using opium anytime they want to. Of course, in the case of addiction, this isn’t true at all.

You might not be sure if you have an opium addiction or not, and knowing the most common opium addiction signs can help you understand if you should consider getting professional help. These include:
  • Spending a lot of money on opium each month
  • Stealing opium or money to buy opium
  • Hiding your opium use from the people you care about
  • Experiencing health issues because of your opium use
  • Becoming reclusive because you’d rather use opium than socialize with others 

If you notice even one of these opium addiction signs, you probably have an opium addiction that requires professional treatment.

Opium Abuse Definition: Is Opium Use the Same As Addiction?

The most recent opium abuse statistics state that opium production has doubled since the 1980s. That means that the use of opium as a drug is more common now than it ever has been. While it might not be the most popular drug, its use is certainly increasing. Even so, opium addiction is not the same as opium abuse. It is possible to abuse opium without being addicted to it. Although, it’s important to note that an opium addiction often is the result of opium abuse, and it doesn’t take very long at all to make that transition.

Opium abuse is defined as the act of using opium, but without a compulsion to do so. Stopping opium abuse does not result in withdrawal symptoms, like it does when there is an addiction present.

Opium Abuse and the Symptoms of Withdrawal

Opium is one of the most difficult drugs to overcome when you have an addiction to it. The symptoms of withdrawal from opium can become quite intense, and they can last quite a long time because of how long opium takes to leave the body. Some withdrawal symptoms that can occur when stopping opium are:
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Difficulty sleeping at night
  • Symptoms of depression
  • Twitching muscles
  • Diarrhea or other digestive issues
  • Intense mood swings

These withdrawal symptoms tend to gain in intensity before tapering off, and they can return at any time for several months after the drug has been stopped.

The Opium Wars in Afghanistan

BBC reported that the United States has spent $1.5 million a day since 2001 in an attempt to fight the opium war in Afghanistan. But this is a war that has not been won. It is also the longest running war in United States history.

Opium production has become a part of life in Afghanistan. The drug is mostly grown for the production of heroin, and the money it brings in has been used to fund several terrorist groups.

Growing opium is illegal in Afghanistan, but the authorities tend to turn a blind eye to it. Farmers have no worries about disguising their crops, and they are protected by the police.

It should come as no surprise that opium is being found on our streets in one way or another. This is a war that may never be won.

Getting Treatment for Opium Addiction

Because opium is such a potent, powerful drug, anyone who is addicted to it should consider professional treatment. That is, by far, the safest way to recover. It is important to treat both sides of the addiction; the physical side and the psychological side. As a result, the individual will have a much better chance of staying clean long-term.

The first step in addiction recovery is drug detox. This is a form of treatment that offers help for withdrawal symptoms, which are definitely present when a person quits using opium. Detoxing is different for everyone, but because this is an opioid drug, medical detox is usually highly recommended.

Medical detox allows the addict to take medications to help with their withdrawal symptoms. There are specific drugs that have been approved for this purpose, such as Suboxone and Vivitrol. They can effectively block the effects of withdrawal, making recovery much easier.

Drug rehab should always follow detox, and ideally, there should be a seamless transition between the two. During the rehabilitation phase of recovery, the patient receives many different types of therapy. They work closely with a therapist who determines if they are suffering from a co-occurring disorder. This means that they have a mental health issue that has contributed to their substance abuse problem.

Any co-occurring disorder should be treated during rehab, and this is done through counseling and sometimes with medications. Additional forms of treatment are also recommended, such as group therapy and family therapy sessions.

Our Addiction Rehab at Northpoint Washington

At Northpoint Washington, we have worked with many patients who were addicted to opium. We offer a 28-day program that includes both detox and rehab services. We are located in Edmonds, Washington.

Personalized treatment options are necessary for anyone with an addiction. Patients need to know that during recovery, their individual needs will be met. We always tailor our treatment plans to our patients’ needs. That way, we give them the best possible chance of being successful long-term.

Because we offer both detox and rehab under the same roof, our patients experience an easy switch between the two types of treatment. We have a very small patient population, which allows our staff members to work with them more closely.

Opium Addiction Treatment

Do You Have Questions About Opium Addiction or Abuse? Are You Ready to Start Treatment?

At Northpoint Washington, we want our patients to know that we care about them. We want them to recover, and we are determined to help them through this difficult time. Our staff is highly equipped with the knowledge and the tools to make getting off opium a reality.

Do you have questions about opium abuse or addiction? Would you like to talk with someone about your detox and rehab options? Please contact us today.

Talk to a Rehab Specialist

Our admissions coordinators are here to help you get started with treatment the right way. They'll verify your health insurance, help set up travel arrangements, and make sure your transition into treatment is smooth and hassle-free.

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