Getting off this drug can prove to be quite a challenge, and detox and rehab are usually needed to help people stop taking it. But not everyone realizes this, and so many people think that there is no hope for them. As a result, they just continue to use and get even more addicted.
There are more than 13.5 million people all over the world who take opium-like painkillers. This is one of the most commonly abused drugs, and it has a long history of abuse. Researchers have dated its use back to 5,000 BCE in the Mediterranean area. Back then, people used the opium plant and its seeds for food, sedation and a method of getting high.
Not much has changed; only today, we know the effects of the opioid epidemic and how it has impacted Washington State. Getting off this drug can be difficult but it is not impossible. With the right support, people can recover from opium addiction. But it usually requires professional treatment.
Opium, known as Lachryma papaveris, is a milky juice that comes from the seeds of the poppy plant, known as Papaver somniferum.
milky substance comes in various colors, from yellow to dark brown. It has a bitter taste and distinct odor that makes it easy to recognize.
Since ancient times, this milky liquid came from scoring poppy seeds by hand when the last petals have fallen off of the flower. The inner residue would then leak out over the next half-day, and be harvested for use. To get the most opium out of poppy seeds, even the milky sap clinging onto the sides of the pods are scraped off. The seeds are then cut open, and the tiny seeds inside are harvested for the next season.
When ingested, the milky sap can create euphoric sensations. The sap can be snorted, injected intravenously and administered through various means. Its derivatives can be processed to produce other illicit drugs, like heroin. These derivatives are equally as addictive, and have a high potential for abuse as well. Opium addiction happens quickly.
The primary component of opium responsible for producing the euphoric sensations is morphine. Morphine is a powerful painkiller that is often used to treat moderate to severe pain. In most cases, the milky substance will contain 12% morphine. This is more than enough to have a sedative effect on the human body. The morphine content in opium is what makes it unique. It is what causes opium addiction and abuse.
Opium is the milky sap that is extracted from the poppy plant. The poppy plant is an annual flowering herb that grows to about 39 inches tall. It has a greyish-green tint to it, and large leaves at the base of the stems. Both the leaves and the stems are sparsely covered with coarse hairs.
The poppy plant usually blooms between June and August. When it blooms, it'll have beautiful flowers with white, mauve or red petals. It'll even bear hairless fruit.
There are different poppy plant species. Common alternatives include Papaver orientale, Papaver rhoeas and Papaver argemone. All species look similar to one another; however, only Papaver somniferum is capable of producing the milky sap, known as opium, when wounded. This use of this substance can quickly lead to opium abuse.
It's unusual for the poppy plant to be grown solely for ornamental purposes. There are stiff penalties for growing poppy plants in the U.S., as it is easy to take advantage of these plants and harvest the chemical components inside. This easily leads to opium abuse.
History books show that the Sumerians were one of the first civilizations to cultivate and use poppy seeds on a regular basis. This happened in 3,400 B.C. in lower Mesopotamia. The poppy plant was known as the "joy plant" at that time, and the opium harvested was used for medicinal and recreational purposes. The Sumerians largely kept this "joy plant" to themselves; however, they did introduce it to the Egyptians when trading.
The Egyptians, who were amazed by the effects of the poppy plant, started to cultivate the poppy plant in large poppy fields. After all, the effects of the “joy plant” appeared magical. No one knew how the plant worked at the time. They only knew that it had unique properties when ingested.
This was the start of the mass production of opium. The Egyptian aimed to grow massive quantities of opium poppy plants to trade with other countries, as they were keen traders. They did a lot of business with other civilizations and countries.
As a result, the Egyptians were able to introduce this plant to the Phoenicians and Minoans in 1,300 B.C., and then into Europe, Greece and Carthage. They not only brought over the seeds, but also taught many countries how to efficiently grow these plants in large fields. The Egyptians perfected the process to harvest opium for trade purposes.
Opium production largely remained the same up until this time. The poppy plants were grown in large fields. When the flowers bloomed, the plants were cut and left to bleed. The milky sap of the opium was then collected.
The people used the opium from the milky sap for medicinal purposes. The poppy seeds were also consumed. Large quantities of poppy seeds could create a euphoric high, or a sedative effect. The plant could also be made into tea, although this was not as common of an ingestion method.
The consumption of opium remained the same until 1,500. The Portuguese found that smoking opium resulted in a more potent, intense and immediate high. This is when the opium addiction and abuse started to run rampant. Many civilizations and cultures fell victim to the addictive properties of opium.
Although the opium poppy plant may seem harmless, opium is the basis for many opioids and opiates. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), painkillers like morphine and heroin are made from opium. They use the same mechanism of action to dull or neutralize pain in the body, and constant use can lead to opium abuse.
Prescription drugs and illicit street drugs made from opium are responsible for causing thousands upon thousands of drug-related deaths nationwide. The epidemic has reached an alarming level in America. According to the CDC, drug overdoses caused by opium and opium-derived drugs kill more Americans than guns, and opium addiction runs rampant all across America.
Since these drugs having such a large influence in America, it's important to know which drugs are derived from opium. In particular, it's important to know about the differences between opium, opioids and opiates. While they all work in similar manners in your body and can cause opium abuse, they are different in terms of their chemical structure.
In 2017, the United States military launched Operation Iron Tempest. The target was a network of opium production labs that was said to be generating $200 million per year for the Taliban. But it fizzled out within a year’s time. Many of what the military thought were labs were actually just empty compounds. The United States led more than 200 airstrikes, but it was a waste of their resources to continue.
The Washington Post reports that the United States has spent $9 billion on deterring Afghanistan from supplying opium-related drugs to the rest of the world. Clearly, none of what they have done has been effective. This continues to be an ongoing problem.
Is the war on drugs in Afghanistan a failure? Some would say yes. The country’s production of opium has skyrocketed over the last several years. In 2018, farmers grew their plants on four times as much land as they did in 2002. This is not an issue that is going to disappear anytime soon.
In short, yes; as evidenced by the fact that the authorities busted one opium poppy farm in Washington State. But it typically cannot be grown legally. Federal agents raided the farm, which was using 40 acres of land to grow the plant. Plants were being grown out in the open, and the seed pods had been sold all over the country in large quantities.
It is very rare for anyone in the United State to grow opium poppies. Because of how highly addictive this drug is, anyone wishing to grow it has to get permission from the government. That is not handed out very easily.
The couple that was growing the opium poppy plants was nowhere to be found when the farm was raided. The property was discovered about 15 miles north of Pasco in southeastern Washington. This same couple was once arrested after a 10-month investigation into another poppy-growing business.
Opium, opioid and opiates are often used interchangeable to one another, as if they're the same thing. That's actually incorrect, as there are minute differences between all three substances, although misuse of all three types can lead to opium abuse and addiction. The various terms should not be used interchangeably to one another because they refer to different types of drugs and narcotics.
Opium refers specifically to the milky sap harvested from opium poppy seeds. This substance is the basis of opioid and opiates, and contains morphine, which is a strong painkiller. Morphine is also the primary chemical component responsible for opium addiction and abuse. Opium was used thousands of years ago as a medicine. Hippocrates even used opium to treat internal diseases in 460 B.C.
When oxygenated, the milky sap quickly turns brown or a dark red. It can then be processed and turned into heroin or other types of opiates. With that said, many people who are addicted to opium or opium-derived drugs can get high from the milky sap itself. These people will not need to process the sap at all.
The milky sap, or opium, is addictive by itself. Those who abuse opium will develop tolerance and dependence on the drug. At the end of the day, those who are trying to quit will need supervised detox to help them get sober. Unsupervised opium detox can be dangerous, which is why many experts recommend contacting an addiction recovery center.
While opioid addiction and abuse is common in America, opium is not usually one of the substances abused. This is because it can be difficult to get ahold of actual poppy plants.
Opiates and opioid are both derivatives of opium. Opiates are the chemical derivatives of the opium poppy, and are naturally produced and harvested from poppy seeds. It's a natural substance that has been modified in the lab.
Opium contains many active substances and chemical compounds. Natural derivatives can be manipulated synthetically to create drugs like morphine, oxycodone and heroin. Morphine is a concentrate found within opium, while oxycodone is a chemical compound that is processed from opium.
Opiates have morphine-like effects, and will act as a depressant, sedative, anaesthetic, analgesic and anodyne. They are alkaloid compounds found in the opium poppy plant. While these alkaloids have different chemical structures, they all work in the same way, and are quite efficient. These opium-derivatives are also rather potent, and can be quite addictive, especially with long-term use. Opium abuse happens fast, and many people will struggle with an in no time.
Opioids, on the other hand, are synthetic and are usually mostly made in laboratories. It's chemically altered, so it often has a more potent effect. In fact, fentanyl is believed to be 10,000 times more powerful and potent than morphine.
Opioids are drugs that act on specific receptors to reduce or neutralize pain. These receptors are mainly located in the brain, although they can also be found in the spinal cord and the digestive tract. With this in mind, you'll find that all opiates are essentially opioids. They all act on neurotransmitters, like dopamine and serotonin, to neutralize or lessen any pain experienced. These drugs alter the body’s chemical balance. If they alter the chemical balance long enough, this results in opium abuse and addiction.
While all opiates are opioids, this doesn't mean that all opioids are opiates. Some opioids do not have the same chemical structure as the components in opium poppy seeds, and would not classify as an opiate.
Natural, semisynthetic and synthetic opium derivatives stimulate opiate receptor cells in the body. Some of these derivatives are made from opium, whereas others are made in a lab.
They all act upon the same receptors, and have a similar mechanism of action in the body. Due to this reason, most of these drugs are often classified in the same category.
Once the receptor cells are stimulated, they will start to secrete high levels of endorphins. They'll secrete other neurotransmitters as well. These chemicals are natural pain relievers to the body, and work together to create an anaesthetic and sedative effect. This leads to opium abuse and opioid addiction.
Here's a look at the different types of natural, semisynthetic and synthetic opium derivatives that are available.
Natural opium derivatives come from opium poppy seeds. These active compounds can be harvested and extracted from opium, since they are a main component. These drugs were often historically used as medicine. For centuries, doctors have used the poppy plant to treat various ailments, from physical pain to mood disorders.
Not all of these alkaloid compounds are present in all poppy plants. While it's possible to extract morphine, for example, in large concentrations in all types of poppy plants, heroin can only be harvested from the Asian poppy.
Fatal overdoses for natural opium derivatives have increased over the years thanks to heroin. In 2016, the incidence of drug overdose deaths caused by heroin was 4.9 per 100,000.
Semisynthetic derivatives of opium contain both natural and synthetic chemical compounds. The bases of these compounds are usually natural derivatives of opium. The derivatives are then processed slightly in the lab to create compounds with a more potent effect. These compounds are then used to treat pain and a variety of ailments. They are marketed as prescription opiate drugs.
Painkillers are often made of semisynthetic opium derivatives. Many Americans are unaware of the addictive potential of these medications. They believe that these painkillers are safe because the doctors prescribe them. Long-term use or misuse of these prescriptions can lead to abuse and addiction.
To fight the opioid epidemic, many pharmacies are limiting prescriptions to a 7-day supply. This is to prevent these medications and drugs from being easily accessible to the general public. It also limits patients from taking larger and larger doses and eventually becoming addicted to opioids.
Synthetic opium derivatives do not come from opium at all. However, they have chemical properties that make them similar to opium. Some even have molecular structures that look identical to natural opium. These drugs act on the same biological pathways, and are usually synthesized in a lab. As a result, scientists have more control over their potency and effects.
Fentanyl, for example, has caused a 540% increase in overdose in 2016. Fentanyl is killing people at a faster rate than even HIV at its peak.
Since synthetic opioids are made in laboratories, they are much more potent. Fentanyl is linked to thousands of overdose deaths.
While the potency of synthetic opioids can be a problem, there's also an upside. Some of these drugs, like methadone, can be used to treat opioid addiction. They have less of an effect on the human body to help curb cravings and the effects of opioids. They can also help lessen the intensity of withdrawal symptoms.
Opium abuse runs rampant in America mostly because of prescription opiates. In 2015 alone, 5 million people abused prescription opiates. Most of these people were first prescribed the medications by a doctor to treat pain. Most addicts initially believed that the drugs were safe. They did not realize the addictive potential of opium until it was too late.
The journey from opium abuse to opium addiction is quite short. Since opium and opium derivatives are easy to abuse, they are classified as controlled substances by the government. These substances are divided into five schedules under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The classification is dependent on the addictive potential and risk potential of each drug.
The five schedules are broken down into I, II, III, IV and V. Most opioids and opiates are Schedule II Controlled Substances. They have a high potential for abuse. Opium abuse can lead to severe psychological and physical dependence.
At its purest form, opium comes in the form of a milky sap and a poppy plant. The poppy seeds can be consumed, and the opium is often smoked or eaten to get the high desired. In some countries, the people made tea from the poppy plant. This would also result in a mild sedative effect as well.
In some countries, opium can come in both a powder and nugget form. Most users will smoke the powder, and dissolve the nugget in water to be filtered and drunk. Both forms offer the same type of high and effects.
Opiates, like heroin, come in various forms. They come in the form of a white powder, or they can come in the form of sticky, black tar. Both are usually smoked, although users can also dissolve the substance and inject it into their bloodstream. The latter will result in a stronger and more potent high.
Opium derivatives often come in a pill form when prescribed as medication. In fact, some of the most commonly abused prescription medications are opioids, like OxyContin, Percocet and Ultram. These pills should be ingested orally; however, some addicts will opt for crushing and snorting them to get a more potent high. Others may even dissolve the pills in a solution to inject it into their bloodstream.
The administration method of choice will vary from individual to individual. In most cases, chronic users will inject the drug into their bloodstream. This results in a more potent high; however, it also comes with more devastating effects.
The reason for opium abuse and addiction lies in how the chemical compounds affect the brain. These drugs bombard the brain with an influx in neurotransmitters. In particular, it raises the levels of dopamine, serotonin and endorphins.
These neurotransmitters play a critical role in modulating senses of euphoria and pleasure. They also regulate decision-making abilities and more. Here's a look at how both dopamine and serotonin affect the brain, as they are involved in the dopamine-serotonin phenomenon.
Dopamine plays perhaps one of the biggest roles in addiction. It creates euphoric sensations that many addicts often chase. It is their insatiable appetite for this feeling that causes opium addiction. This feeling alone is all that’s needed, as it is basically the pathway that makes a person feel rewarded when they eat or engage in intercourse.
The body naturally produces its own dopamine. This is responsible for positive emotions and moods. However, opium is able to cause dopamine levels in the brain to jump 200% within 8 seconds. This large influx creates the euphoric sensations that make opium and opium derivatives so addictive.
While one time use does not usually result in opium addiction, long-term use will cause the brain to stop producing dopamine at required levels. This means that the brain will need to rely on the opium drugs for artificial stimulation. Without the drugs, the brain is unable to regain balance in its chemistry levels.
When this happens, the body starts to crave for more drugs. This is what causes most users to feel depressed and anxious whenever there's no more drugs in their system. It is also what causes the complications involved with getting sober.
So, is there any harm in having too much dopamine in your body? After all, doesn't increased dopamine levels just make you happy?
Artificially stimulated dopamine levels can have a profound impact on the human body. Once the body adjusts to the changed levels, it will need more and more to feel "normal" again. When looking to get sober, addicts will have to quit using drugs. This means that their dopamine levels will crash.
Speaking of personality disorders, addiction is often linked to mental health issues. These co-occurring disorders must be treated at the same time for optimal efficacy.
As far as the other effects go, the intensity of the effects will depend on the length of the drug use and the dose taken. Those who have abused opium for longer periods of time will likely experience more intense effects from the dopamine imbalance.
Serotonin levels in the brain also rise with opium use. The synthesis of this neurotransmitter is still heavily research by scientists. Many are interested in the effects that this neurotransmitter has on the brain. It is responsible for regulating emotions, judgement and cues. Like dopamine, it also causes euphoric sensations.
The brain naturally produces serotonin. When opium is ingested, opium levels rise. To measure the raise in serotonin levels, researchers look at the levels of 5-HIAA in the cerebrospinal fluid. 5-HIAA is a metabolic product of serotonin once it has been broken down.
The brain soon gets used to the raised levels of serotonin. Much like with dopamine, it will need more and more serotonin to feel "normal" again. Without the substance, users will start to feel depressed and anxious. Some even develop intense cravings. These physiological responses are also responsible for opium addiction.
Much like with dopamine, imbalanced serotonin levels can be troubling and problematic. They can create many additional health complications and issues. This is especially true since serotonin is responsible for regulating learning abilities, memory, sleep patterns and emotions.
Low serotonin levels can cause more harm than good. Fortunately, it is much easier to recover from low or imbalanced serotonin levels that low or imbalanced dopamine levels. Low serotonin levels won’t cause as much damage or as many side effects as low dopamine levels.
In addition to having permanent effects on the brain, opium abuse can also cause physical, mental and emotional complications. This is due to the fact that the medications can be taxing on the body. The chemical compounds can damage various organs, from the cardiovascular to respiratory system. The damage may even become irreversible.
Some of the side effects are short-term and will dissipate with time. Others are long-term, and may be a lot more permanent. Whether a person is likely to experience short-term or long-term effects will depend on the length of their drug, the dosage taken, among many other factors.
The type of short-term and long-term side effects that each addict may experience will vary. Some side effects will be more pronounced than others.
Due to changing neurotransmitter levels and more, opium usage will cause some harm to the body. However, the amount of harm that it causes will depend on the person's biological makeup, drug use and more.
Some side effects will appear within a short period of time after ingestion. These short-term side effects of opium abuse may subside with time. They are also generally not permanent, although they may be unpleasant.
These side effects generally subside once the drugs are cleared from the body. They are completely reversible, and are usually not a huge cause for concern. It does show, however, that the body is being affected by the drugs. The drug is interacting with the nerves and various organs.
Those who ignore these side effects and continue their opium use will be further damaging their body. This can then result in permanent complications.
Heroin and many other drugs are often cut with other substances, so it can be difficult to determine what type of side effects may be experienced. If the drug is cut with other substances, it may cause even more unwanted side effects to appear.
The longer that a person uses and abuses opium, the more likely they are to develop long-term side effects. Effects to the body are primarily caused by changes in neurotransmitter levels. However, the drugs can also eventually travel to vital organs, where they can cause a significant amount of damage.
In worst-case situations, long-term effects of opium abuse can lead to coma and even death. Those who fail to get sober may also develop permanent side effects from the opium use. This is because the drugs permanently damage certain vital organs.
It's also important to note that some opium or opium derivatives can cause completely unique side effects. In particular, hydrocodone use and abuse can lead to hearing loss that only surgery can repair. Cochlear implantation may be the only solution.
Knowing how opium affects the brain and body makes it easier to understand why this substance is addictive. As opium users continue to use the drug, their body develops tolerance to it.
Tolerance happens when a person's body and brain gets used to the changes that are caused by the drug. This means that they will no longer respond to the drug as they used to before. In order to achieve any effects, a higher dose is needed.
This phenomenon happens at the cellular level. For example, as morphine users take more and more morphine, their body will inhibit the production of adenylate cyclase. This is an enzyme that fires a message in the brain. After repeated use, there will be less and less of this enzyme in the body and brain, which means that more morphine is needed to create a response.
As dopamine and serotonin level rises, the body adapt. It considers the raised levels to be the new standard. As a result, it builds tolerance to the drug. This is also why opium overdoses are so common. As users develop a higher tolerance, they will take larger doses that are close to the overdose amount.
Tolerance eventually causes dependence. To maintain bodily functions, a certain amount of dopamine and serotonin is needed. Without it, the body cannot function properly. As artificial stimulation increases, natural production drops. Without artificial stimulation, the body doesn't produce enough dopamine or serotonin. This causes withdrawal symptoms and other complications.
Both tolerance and dependence results in opium addiction. Unfortunately, both can happen rather quickly. This is probably why the opium epidemic has risen so dramatically within such a short amount of time.
By now, it's no surprise that opium, opiates and opioids have a high potential for abuse and addiction. After all, this is one of the most problematic drugs in America. It's time to face the problem head on, and to fully recognize the effects of this drug.
The best way to grasp the seriousness of the situation is to look at the statistics. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and other institutions have conducted many studies for this particular problem.
But, what will it take to solve this problem? How much will it cost America to get rid of opium addiction for good?
According to Dr. Francis Collins, the Director of the National Institutes of Health, research alone would need a budget of $500 million a year. That doesn't include the cost for preventative education and treatment for those who are already addicted.
Many experts claim that this number should be even higher. Opium addiction and abuse will cost America billions of dollars spread over many years to fix. It also won't be an easy fix, as addiction already has strong roots in the community.
Keep in mind that these numbers are for opium addiction only. It doesn't include the cost of treating other addictions that have taken root in America as well.
However, learning how to fix opium addiction will be beneficial in the war against drugs. After all, successful research in one area can be carried over to another.
Current research is exploring different avenues. For example, zebrafish is currently being used in addiction research. Both zebrafish and people have similar major organs, and share many similar genetic traits. Due to this reason, a lot of addiction researches have begun to use zebrafish.
Some people are more likely to be addicted to opioids than others. Although addiction does not discriminate, the drugs appeal more to some demographics. Some demographics may also have an easier time accessing certain drugs than others.
For one, younger Americans are more likely to abuse opioids. This addiction is also more prevalent among men than women, and more likely to affect those with a co-occurring mental health disorder. It's also more likely to affect those who have a history of drug or alcohol abuse.
Other than that, the drug of choice will also differ between age groups. Different demographics favor different types of prescription painkillers over others.
For example, young men are more likely to abuse oxycodone. This demographic is found to be more likely to engage in risky behavior, and is more likely to have more disposable income at hand. After all, an oxycodone addiction is not cheap.
When purchased legally, a 10 mg tablet of OxyContin usually retails for $1.25. An 80 mg tablet usually retails for about $6. However, on the black market, the drug prices skyrocket. When purchased from a dealer, a 10 mg tablet can cost anywhere from $5 to $10, and an 80 mg tablet can cost anywhere from $65 to $80.50.
While younger men are more likely to abuse oxycodone, older women are more likely to choose hydrocodone. This is because hydrocodone is usually one of the most easily accessible drugs for them. They can get a drug prescription from their doctors or look towards family or friends for some pills.
Taking a look at the numbers can help dial in just how serious this epidemic is. The rates at which overdoses and addiction are rising are insane. Look below for some of the most commonly quoted statistics from researches and studies. These numbers try to show just how important it is for America to act quickly towards this problem to prevent it from worsening.
42,249 fatal drug overdoses in 2016 involved opioids, and opioid overdoses have surpassed deaths caused by breast cancer.
1 million Americans struggled with opium abuse in 2012, and this number is steadily increasing every year. Over 207 million prescriptions for opioid painkillers were written in 2013.
Approximately 100% of the world's hydrocodone supply is consumed by the U.S. alone. 30% of addicts fail to seek addiction recovery treatment, and will struggle with their addiction for life
80% of heroin users started off by misusing and abusing prescription opioid painkillers. 93% of the world's opium supply originated from Afghanistan although opium farmers only received a quarter of the cut
18% of patients treated at drug rehab centers across America are dealing with an opium addiction. 9 billion oxycodone tablets were prescribed in the U.S. in 2014
5 million Americans misused prescription painkillers in 2016, although they may not necessarily have abused the drug. The cost of addiction treatment for opium addictions across America was estimated at $78.5 billion in 2013
It's not unfair to say that America is in the throes of an opioid epidemic. Addiction is prevalent across all demographics, and can affect both women and men of all races. It also does not discriminate people from any age group as well. It can affect everyone, and anyone.
There's a fine line between abuse and addiction. Abuse usually refers to inappropriate or dangerous use of a substance.
Addiction, on the other hand, refers to a situation where a person has developed tolerance and dependence on a substance.
Those who are addicted to drugs are also likely to experience withdrawal symptoms when quitting and likely to engage in risky or dangerous behaviors. They are likely to obsess over the drug, and may even try to get more of it through illegal means.
Many drug addicts often disappear for days at a time, and may even have more financial problems. After all, maintaining an addiction can be quite expensive. It often leaves addicts with very little disposable income for other interests and hobbies.
It's often difficult for many addicts to come to terms with the severity of their addiction. Many hesitate to seek help. If you're on the fence about your situation or the situation of a loved one, check out our addiction quizzes. Our quizzes may help you figure out whether you or someone you love struggles with an addiction.
Other than the physical signs of an addiction, there are also behavioral symptoms to look out for. These signs can help you identify whether your loved one has an addiction, and help them get help early on. Those who are able to get help early on will be less likely to relapse and will be more likely to recover.
Trying to identify an addiction and get help for a loved one is an important step to make. It's important that you don't have a co-dependent relationship with the addict. Most importantly, it's vital that you aren't enabling their addiction. This will only make the situation worse.
Much like with many other addictions, there are certain mood symptoms associated with an opium addiction. Addicts will usually experience euphoric moods for several hours after ingesting the drug. This is due to a boost of dopamine, serotonin and other neurotransmitters.
After that, the addicts will likely experience a range of mood swings. This may include depression, anxiety and irritability. The mood swings are due to the brain's need to regain a chemical balance.
The intensity and severity of the mood swings will depend on the dose of the drug taken, the length of drug use, among many other factors.
Another way to gauge whether someone who uses drugs is likely to become an addict is to look at their mental health history. In 2014, 7.9 million Americans struggled with both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder. This is because the two are closely linked. They both affect the same biological pathways in the brain.
Mental disorders affect the way that a person thinks. It also affects their behavior and their mood. All in all, a mental health disorder can influence the type of choices that a person makes. It's important for those with an addiction to also diagnose the type of mental health disorders that they are struggling with. This can help answer many questions.
There are many different types of mental health disorders. The most common type is anxiety disorders. This is then followed by depressive disorders. Trauma is also a type of depressive disorder, and it affects a significant amount of addicts.
Mental health disorders can emerge during any time of one's life. While some are present even during early childhood, others may emerge later in adulthood. Some mental disorders only occur once; however, others are likely to recur intermittently. Many Americans struggle with chronic mental health disorders that affect them throughout their entire lifetime.
So, what's the importance of knowing what mental health disorders plague addicts?
Simple. By properly diagnosing the mental health disorder that is affected, addicts can get treated for both at the same time. This will highly influence the success rates of recovery.
This is because mental health disorders and substance use disorders both play off of one another. They both affect brain chemistry levels.
For example, a person who is depressed will already have lowered dopamine levels. As a result, they will crave and want opiates to feel "normal". Once they've used opiates, they will have more intense cravings and a higher desire to do the drugs again.
The opioids and opiates will also affect their brain in a more significant way. It will cause higher fluctuations in brain chemistry levels. It will also have a more profound impact on some receptors, causing a larger response to the drugs.
When an addict quits, their brain chemistry levels will go haywire. The dopamine and serotonin levels will drop far more drastically, and they will have a higher likelihood to relapse. It's more difficult to get sober when dealing with a mental health disorder.
Those who get both conditions treated at the same time are less likely to relapse, and more likely to recover. They will leave the opium rehab center feeling at the top of their game, and will have the means to deal with both disorders.
Drugs and crime are heavily linked to one another. 70% of male prisoners were addicted to one drug or another. This could be because drug use can affect one's actions, behavior and mentality. Many drug users are more likely to engage in risky behavior. Intense cravings may cloud their minds, and cause them to make poor decisions.
The study also found that there's a relationship between the type of crimes committed and the level of drug abuse. Addicts who were heavy drug users had a higher delinquency rate. They were more likely to commit serious crimes. Most of the time, they had committed crimes to increase their drug supply, and get more drugs.
Addicts are also more likely to live in poverty. Drug use, frequency of which crime is committed and poverty is linked to one another. They all fuel the others and encourage a cycle that is hard to break out of.
This is why many celebrities, like Nikki Sixx, are opposed to the fact that the newest legislation has decided to cut funding for opium addiction treatment and prevention. They're necessary to prevent the cycle of abuse from continuing.
Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared an opioid epidemic in 2011, 16 of the 50 states have taken action to correct the problem. Most of these states have decided to pass legislation that either:
This is to actively prevent opioid use and distribution among its people. Some of the laws imposed newer or tougher penalties on opioid possession or trafficking. Others lengthened prison sentences for drug users or traffickers if they shared an amount capable of a fatal overdose.
For example, lawmakers in Kentucky, Maryland passed SB 539. This means that drug traffickers will face an additional penalty if fentanyl is found in their drugs. This is because overdose rates due to fentanyl have gone up significantly.
If fentanyl found in heroin or any other drugs, it could add an extra 10 years to the prison sentence. It is up to the court to determine whether any extra years will be added to the prison sentence. Some judges may factor in the amount of fentanyl that was in the drug before making a decision.
In Indiana, the HB1235 legislation was reinstated. This means that there's a 10-year mandatory minimum prison sentence for heroin or meth traffickers if they had a prior cocaine, heroin or meth trafficking conviction. This is to prevent the trafficking of opioids, since they're so addictive, and have such a profound impact on the community.
The opioid epidemic has become such a problem for America that even the Senate is working on developing a new approach to deal with the crisis. The war on drugs has become a major issue once again in America, as U.S. faces one of its deadliest drug epidemics in years.
A bipartisan pair of senators, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), has been working on a bill that would impose harsher prison sentences on those who are selling synthetic opioids. This includes fentanyl and all fentanyl analogs, as they are so deadly. These drugs are also found in many illicit opioids, which people move to once they can no longer get their hands on prescription painkillers. After all, approximately 70% of heroin users first started off misusing prescription opioid painkillers.
This bill would impose a 10-year maximum sentence on anyone caught selling opioids and any kinds of synthetic drugs on their first offense. This would then double for those who are convicted a second time again. The goal of this bill is to punish traffickers for drugs that may not be included in the schedule of controlled substances yet. This would ensure that all new opioids are accounted for.
This is not the only bill that is being worked on. Many Americans are also calling for reforms in the way that veterans are treated. This is because many veterans are susceptible to drug use and abuse. They deal with many mental health issues that make them much more vulnerable to becoming addicts.
While the bill may seem like it could help with the opioid crisis and epidemic, there's also a lot of concern surrounding it. The primary concern surrounding this new bill is that it may be used to imprison even more low-level drug dealers. This may not help the opioid epidemic at all. Low-level drug dealers may have no idea which drugs are present in their product. They are not the ones producing the drugs.
After all, there's a good chance that they are simply selling drugs to get enough funds to maintain their own addiction. Many low-level drug dealers have drug habits of their own, especially to opium and opioids. They may have an addiction to prescription painkillers, heroin or other synthetic drugs.
In these cases, many people sympathize with the low-level drug dealers, as they, too, are victims of the opioid epidemic. They may have difficulties dealing with their addiction, and may also need help from the government and community. They may have been upstanding citizens at some point of their lives, but had an ugly downfall from being sucked into the world of addiction.
Opium detoxification is the process of removing drugs from the body. This process is usually associated with unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. This is because the body needs to slowly adapt to the changes in brain chemistry caused by a lack of artificial stimulation.
In 2010, opium abuse and addiction accounted for nearly a quarter of all addiction treatment admissions. Those numbers have since skyrocketed, as more and more Americans have become addicted.
Those who attempt opium detox on their own are much more likely to experience withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms will also be more intense. This can make it difficult to manage and overcome an opium addiction.
To prevent this from happening, the best course of action is to seek help from an addiction recovery center. The professionals at the center will know what withdrawal symptoms to look out for. They will also know which type of medications will be most effective as treatment.
An opium addiction is difficult to recover from. Many people who are addicted to opium will struggle with intense withdrawal symptoms when quitting. It's due to these withdrawal symptoms that over 91% of people addicted to opium will relapse.
If you relapse, just remember that it's a part of your journey to recovery. Don't let relapses define you. Instead, let them empower you. Our recovery center will teach you relapse prevention techniques that keep you on the right path.
With that said, the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms will be due to many factors. On top of that, each addict will experience a unique combination of withdrawal symptoms. Some may have bigger cravings than others, while others may have longer-lasting muscle aches and pains. Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms include symptoms like:
Many factors may influence the type of opium detox that you are recommended. The intensity of the withdrawal symptoms anticipated will have a large influence. Those who will experience more intense withdrawal symptoms will need more drugs during opium detox. They may also need more medical supervision to detox safely and successfully.
To better help us determine the type of opium detox that's best for your needs, our staff will complete a thorough assessment. The assessment will let us know how severe your opium addiction is. This will involve how long you've engaged in opium abuse, the dosage taken, and the typical drug taken, among many other factors.
Everyone withdraws from opium on different timelines. It depends on one's drug intake, biological makeup, among other factors. Still, there's a rough estimate that most opium addicts can expect. The timeline can be divided into three phases: acute, long-term and post-acute.
Not everyone goes through all three phases. Some people who are less addicted to opium may not experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms. Once again, it all depends on one's biological makeup, the dosage and drug type taken, the potency of the drug and more.
For example, hydrocodone is much more potent than codeine. It's due to its chemical structure. As a result, those who are addicted to hydrocodone will experience stronger and longer-lasting opium withdrawal symptoms.
Here's a breakdown of the opium withdrawal timeline. Knowing what to expect can help many opium addicts better prepare for recovery.
Acute opium withdrawal symptoms usually kick in within 5 to 30 hours of the last dose. It is the earliest symptoms that opium addicts experience, and include symptoms like muscle aches and agitation.
The timeline for the acute phase depends on the type of drug that was taken. Short-acting opioids like heroin have a shorter onset. The opium withdrawal symptoms will usually begin to kick in 6 to 12 hours after the last dose. On the other hand, drugs like methadone are longer acting. Opium addicts can expect the acute phase of the withdrawal timeline to start around the 30-hour mark.
The acute phase of opium withdrawals usually last around 72 hours. However, chronic and heavy users will experience a longer withdrawal timeline, and will need more supervised detox to make it through this difficult period.
After the acute symptoms start to subside, a new host of symptoms will start to emerge. This phase of the withdrawal timeline is otherwise known as the long-term phase. It includes symptoms like goosebumps, nausea and vomiting.
This is usually when most of the symptoms will start to peak. It's also when most opium addicts will have the most difficult time. This is the time when the willpower of most opium addicts will be most tested. As a result, it's also the time when most addicts need to focus on why it's important and better to be sober.
A combination of different symptoms can emerge during this time, so opium addicts will need to be under constant supervision. This is why residential treatment programs are highly recommended over intensive outpatient programs. They offer a higher level of care that helps prevent relapses and ensure a successful recover. Residential programs also offer a more peaceful and calm environment for opium addicts to focus on recovery.
The long-term phase of the opium withdrawal timeline can last anywhere from 4 to 20 days depending on the person. It also depends on the level of opium abuse, the type of drug taken, among many other factors.
Not everyone experiences post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS). Usually, this phase of the withdrawal timeline is only reserved for chronic and heavy users. 9 out of 10 long-term opium users are expected to go through this phase. Unfortunately, only about 13% of those who do will seek addiction treatment for it.
Untreated PAWS is the primary reason why the relapse rate for opium is so high.
PAWS can emerge anywhere from days to weeks after the long-term phase. Some opium users may feel as if they're back to normal before rebounding back into PAWS.
Stress can worsen these symptoms, and they can, unfortunately, last for months. Some opium users even claim to experience PAWS years after getting sober. It's like constantly being reminded of the drug.
This opium withdrawal phase is a huge problem among many of those who have recovered. If you're struggling with this phase of the withdrawal timeline, you may need additional help from an opium rehab treatment facility, like Northpoint the Evergreen.
Opioids and opiates stay in the body for different lengths of time. It depends on the type of drug that was taken and the form that it was taken in. Almost all prescription opioids come in two forms: extended-release and immediate-release.
Extended-release drugs are longer lasting. They take a longer amount of time to be cleared from the body. Immediate-release opium medications are quick acting. The body clears the metabolites rather quickly.
In general, you can expect the body to need anywhere from 3 to 7 days to clear fentanyl, and 5 days to clear methadone. Oxycodone will usually leave your system within 20 hours. If you swallow the pills, it will take your body longer to clear the drugs. On the other hand, if you crush them and snort them, the clearance time is shortened by a significant amount.
Heroin, on the other hand, stay in the body for about 8 hours. However, it is still detectable in the bloodstream for half a day, and in urine for 3 to 4 days.
The best way to detox from an opium addiction is to rely on certain medications. These medications can either lessen the intensity of withdrawal symptoms, or they can curb cravings. They do this by preventing the chemical compounds in opioids from attaching to receptors in the body.
To determine which medication may be best for you, seek a consultation from a recovery center. You can get a free phone assessment from our team of professionals to see what's available. We'll walk you through the different treatment plans recommended, and help you determine what's best for you. This will depend on the length of the drug use, the dose taken regularly and the type of drug abused.
This treatment process is known as Opioid Replacement Therapy (ORT). Basically, less potent opioids are used as substitutes. The most common types of medications recommended for opium detox include:
Each drug will target a different receptor or a different part of the body to work its magic. Some treatments come in the form of capsules and pills, whereas others are injected directly into the bloodstream.
All medications used as ORT can be classified into one of the three classes: agonist, partial agonists and antagonists.
An antagonist is a substitute drug with the same mechanism of action and effects as opioids. It can help curb cravings and lessen the intensity of withdrawal symptoms. Although these drugs are easier to manage, they can be just as addictive. If the treatment is not properly supervised, it can lead to a secondary addiction. Examples of full agonists include dolophine and methadone.
An example of a partial opioid agonist is buprenorphine. This means that it stimulates the same regions of the brain as other opioids to create a sense of euphoria. This drug, however, is very weak to prevent withdrawal symptoms.
An antagonist, like Naloxone, will bind to the receptors in the body in the same way that opioids do. The only difference is that they do not actually activate the receptors. This means that the addict will not feel experience euphoric feelings. It also means that opioids cannot bind to the receptors and trigger those sensations either.
When dealing with opium addiction, most experts recommend a two-step approach to treating the addiction. The first step involves using medications in ORT to help addicts wean off of the drug. The second step involves using behavioral counseling to prevent relapses.
Behavioral counselling can also help addicts learn how to identify triggers. They build better habits, and become more self-aware of their own actions. All in all, counselling and therapy is great for personal growth.
Behavioral therapy is crucial in relapse prevention. This is because behavioral therapy aims to treat psychological withdrawal symptoms, which may linger around for months or even years. There are many different types of behavioral therapy options to choose from. They include:
There are many different types of behavioral therapy. Each patient should try different types to find one that is most inline with their goals and beliefs.
Many people are in denial about the fact that they need help from a rehab center, and many attempt to get sober alone. Others don't even realize that they should get help from an opium addiction treatment facility.
Only about 18.5% of people who need
substance use treatment get it.
While it is possible to get sober alone for some drugs, this is quite difficult to do with opioids. An opium addiction comes with many intense withdrawal symptoms that are hard to overcome and manage. Medical supervision and detoxification at an opium rehab center is necessary. It will make the road to recovery a lot less bumpy. There's a lot more smooth sailing, and the chances of success increases exponentially.
If you're interested in learning more about the type of services we offer at Northpoint the Evergreen, take a look at our about us section here. There, we outline not only the services that we offer, but also our vision. Take a look and see whether we're on the same page as you.
We're available to answer any question that you may have. In fact, we'd be happy to sit down with you or even give you a tour of the place. Opium rehabilitation is not only necessary, but also effective. Each patient has different needs that should be met. We aim to make the recovery process as simple and easygoing as possible.
So, what do the drug rehab success rates look like? How many people are able to successfully get sober and, more importantly, stay sober?
Current relapse rates for those who seek treatment will hover around 40% to 60%. This means that about 2 to 3 of every 5 people who seek treatment will relapse sometime in their life. This doesn't necessarily mean that rehabs are not successful.
For many people, opium rehab is a place where they get the resources needed to learn how to deal with triggers. They develop habits and skills that will keep them on the right track for the majority of their lifetime.
The effectiveness of opium rehab should also be based on the amount of people who are able to stay sober. 40% to 60% of people will not relapse even once. They'll be able to enjoy the benefit of sobriety for the rest of their lives. They'll develop skills that will help them stay sober even during the holidays, which is a time when many people relapse.
Rehab treatment is effective for those who carry on what they learn in treatment for the rest of their lives. These people will have picked up on important skills that will help them excel in other parts of their lives as well.
Some rehab centers have higher success rates than others. If you're wondering where the discrepancy comes from, it can come from many different areas of treatment. Knowing what to look for in a rehab center is crucial.
It's important to note that opium treatment does not necessarily have to be voluntary to be effective. Many parents may check their kids in for an addiction. It's important to make sure that the patients will receive around-the-clock medical supervision from licensed staff.
Addiction is a complex disease that affects the brain. However, it is completely treatable. It's important to realize that addiction affects each individual differently. In addition to having better access to treatment facilities, there are also many other suggestions on how America can handle the opioid epidemic.
One of the keys to successfully recovering from an addiction is to stay motivated. Internal motivation to get sober is much more important than you'd think. It's important to stay motivated throughout the entire opium treatment process. This can be difficult due to the many changes that are happening to the body.
Most addicts will enter the drug treatment center feeling motivated. Unfortunately, these feelings will die down pretty quickly. This is especially true for when withdrawal symptoms begin to kick in.
Rehab centers that are able to help addicts learn how to stay motivated will have higher success rates in comparison to those who don't. Many treatment centers will set different challenges and will check up on their patients. This is to make sure that each patient is on the right track.
When seeking opium addiction treatment, there are usually two options to choose from. They include inpatient and outpatient programs.
Inpatient programs involve staying at the rehab center. Most opium rehab centers offer many different types of facilities that can help treat addiction. They have different counselling centers. Some even have pools and horse riding ranges. Inpatient programs tend to be more intense, and are highly recommended for first-time patients.
Outpatient programs involve going to the rehab once in awhile to seek treatment. Patients do not need to stay at the opium rehab center at all. This gives them more freedom to carry on with their daily lives. They can still go to work and spend time with the family.
Let's look at these programs in a little bit more detail. It may help you determine which treatment program is most suitable for your situation and needs.
Inpatient programs offer a calm and peaceful environment for addicts to recover. There, addicts will participate in counselling and therapy, and receive medications for their addiction. Inpatient programs offer a much higher level of care. Patients receive around-the-clock supervision from licensed medical staff.
In most cases, these programs last about 90 days. This is the ideal length of stay because it takes 90 days for the brain to reset itself. After 90 days, patients will be less likely to relapse or less likely to feel inclined to do drugs again.
Intensive outpatient programs combine a variety of therapies and educational lectures to help addicts break free from addiction. This type of program offers ongoing support and accountability. Most last for months.
Treatments for outpatient programs generally start off pretty intensive at first. Patients usually attend several outpatient sessions a week before transitioning to fewer sessions or shorter sessions. Some outpatient programs even rely on mobile applications that aid in the recovery process. These applications are synced or linked to the opium rehab center.
Depending on the rate of recovery, medical staff may lengthen or shorten the session times. In most cases, patients who choose outpatient programs are those who have already gone through the addiction treatment process once before. These individuals may just need a little pick-me-up to stay on the right path.
Another fairly useful and helpful program that can be used towards addiction treatment is the 12 step program. This is essentially a huge support group made up of former and current addicts. Each member in the group shares personal stories, and tries to support one another.
These programs are offered in the community and by the rehab center. You can choose which one to go to. It all depends on your comfort level, and the group that you bond with the most.
The 12 step program is often used in conjunction with both inpatient and outpatient programs. Everything shared in the group stays anonymous. There are a variety of 12 step programs designed for specific addictions. For example, those who are addicted to heroin may wish to go to a Heroin Anonymous meeting.
The 12 step program follows 12 steps to aid addicts in recovery. Some steps include coming to terms with one's own poor behavior, and making amends to those who were wronged. Some meetings are for sharing, while others discuss the best ways for succeeding in a certain step.
Addicts are not the only people who need support groups. More often than not, family members and friends of addicts may need support as well. After all, it's not easy dealing with an addict, and addiction can affect more people than just the addict.
Fortunately, there are also support groups for family members and friends as well. If you're having difficulties with the process, seek support yourself.
These support groups can help you figure out how the addiction has affected the entire family or friend group. It may even help you learn how to reshape your life and what you can do to help motivate an addict to stay sober. From these support groups, many people also learn how to stop unintentionally enabling addictive behaviors. These support groups provide resources on how to help an addict quit his or her drug use.
Many wings of the 12 step program focus on providing support to family members and friends. There's no shame in attending one yourself. In fact, building a strong support group is important for learning how to deal with many obstacles that might come your way. It's nice to be able to relate to other people and get feedback from others who have gone through the same situation.
Outpatient rehab can be a very effective way of treating opium addiction. Many people opt to start treatment by going through an inpatient program. There, they receive detox services, which should only ever be done on an outpatient basis. They also participate with multiple types of therapy. From there, they usually move on to an outpatient program for their aftercare.
But what about people who cannot commit to an inpatient program, or people who need further treatment? In these cases, outpatient rehab can be extremely helpful. Today’s outpatient programs are very different from those of years ago. Many offer higher quality care that is similar to what they might receive in an inpatient treatment center.
At Northpoint the Evergreen, we are known to have one of the best outpatient rehab programs in Washington State. Our goal has always been to treat our clients like they were members of our own families. We want them to know that they are special and unique, and they each have their own, individual needs that must be addressed. Otherwise, recovery is not likely to last.
Part of our targeted, individualized treatment plans includes ensuring that our clients get started in the right program. We offer three levels of care to meet their needs. Many of our clients start with either our partial hospitalization program or our intensive outpatient program. Eventually, they will move on to outpatient rehab, which we offer as well.
As we mentioned earlier, detoxing is very important for someone who is addicted to opium. We provide referrals for detoxification programs that we know and trust to help our clients with their withdrawal symptoms.
We are located in Bellevue and Seattle, so it is very convenient for people to find a facility that is close to them. We participate with many of the top health insurance providers in Washington State as well. This helps us make getting addiction treatment more affordable for our clients.
At Northpoint the Evergreen, we understand how serious opium addiction is. We have seen how it causes people to suffer needlessly, and we want to help them get off this dangerous drug. While it is difficult to recover, it is possible with the right support. Our staff members are committed to providing our clients with the best care so that they can be successful.