Opium Substance Abuse - Opiate Addiction

Opium Substance Abuse - Opiate Addiction drug rehabilitation and alcohol rehabilitation

Opium Abused For Its Intoxicating Harmful Effects

Opium is a narcotic that's highly addictive and comes from the opium poppy plant. At one time medications that were available didn't have a warning label on the container and this created problems but today things are different; there are state, federal and international laws that control the manufacturing and distribution of any narcotic substance.

Paregoric is used to treat diarrhea and contains opium also. Listed below are opiate narcotic painkillers (Analgesics) that many individuals have formed addictions to. But first watch this video as a doctor explains how an individual becomes addicted to Opiates and the withdrawal symptoms an addict may experience while trying to detox from opiates. Then you can decide if that prescription pain pill is worth taking.


Opiate Examples

  • Morphine
  • Codeine
  • Dilaudid
  • Methadone
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet)
  • Demerol
  • Heroin
  • Opium
  • Tramadol
  • Fentanyl



Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

The severity of the symptoms depends on the opiate that was abused, the duration of abuse and how chronic the abuse was. Some withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle aches
  • Dilated pupils
  • Watery eyes and tearing
  • Cramping of the abdomen
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Yawning
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating


Opiates can be taken in pill form, powder or liquid form. Opiate abusers either swallow the pills, smoke or inject the drugs depending on what types of opiates are being abused. Heroin and other opiates are central nervous system depressants or CNS depressants. An opiate overdose can cause slowed breathing, possible coma and death.

Opiates are abused by people in all age groups. Young people are steadily abusing opiates like heroin and other opioids. More and more adolescents are becoming dependent on them. According to a 2005 study, emergency room visits associated with heroin abuse increased around 600% among 12 to 17 year olds. This was primarily due to the high-potency of heroin, the low cost and availability. Many people who abuse heroin snort it at first and eventually start injecting it.

Effects of Opiate Abuse

Slowed and shallow breathing and heartbeat is just a couple of the dangerous side effects of opiate abuse. Listed below are more serious side affects you should be aware of.

  • Slurred speech
  • Decreased appetite
  • Constricted pupils
  • Needle or track marks
  • Fatigue and drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Slowed reflex



What is Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)?

This term describes medical conditions and problems a baby goes through when suffering withdrawals from narcotic exposure while the mother was pregnant. According to Children's Hospital in Boston, over half of the babies born that are exposed to opiates like heroin and methadone go through some form of withdrawal symptoms when they're born.

Some of the serious withdrawal symptoms a newborn can go through due to methadone, heroin and other opiates being abused by the mother during pregnancy can last as long as 6 months. Opiate abuse can cause:

  1. Birth defects
  2. Poor growth while in the uterus
  3. Premature birth
  4. Seizures (especially methadone use)

Withdrawal symptoms newborns may face due to opiate and other substance abuse during pregnancy:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Excessive crying
  • Hyperactive reflexes
  • Trembling or tremors
  • Problems eating and sucking
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration


Some babies actually need medications to treat severe withdrawal symptoms especially for seizures. Methadone can be used for heroin and other opiate withdrawal symptoms.

Treatment for Opiate Addiction

Detoxification centers many times are necessary for the person struggling with opiate addiction. Withdrawal symptoms can be very uncomfortable and sometimes it's even necessary to use medication to help the person get through the detoxification process.

Every drug addiction is different and each user requires specific treatment when it comes to detoxification, drug treatment and therapy. Residential treatment may be best for some people and outpatient therapy is better for others. One thing that holds true for anyone suffering from substance abuse and addiction is the fact that chronic addiction to any substance is serious and the more experienced professional help you receive, the more your chances for recovery increase. Relapse is very common for individuals working toward recovery, professional drug treatment, therapy and counseling help to prevent relapse. Thousands of men, women, and young people have successfully recovered from narcotic and substance addiction and you can too.

Websites Used
U.S. DEA Opium
Children's Hospital Boston
Clinical Trials
Medline Plus
Signs and Symptoms Fact Sheet

Opiates Reference Gallery

Opiates Discussion

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