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Opium Addiction

An opium addiction is an addiction that occurs through frequent use of heroin, opiate type pain pills, morphine or even codeine; as these drugs are all derivatives of the original and least processed product of the poppy plant...opium.

Opium use has a multi thousand year history, yet for the first many centuries of use opium was consumed orally as a pain reliever and induced little addiction. With the onset of smoking administration in China some 400 years ago, so also arrived the first real cases of opium addiction, and opium addiction in its many forms has remained a societal problem unceasingly across the centuries since.

Smoked opium can remain within the body for as long as 48 hours after administration, and as such recreational users smoking opium even every couple of days are at a very high risk to develop tolerance, physical dependency and addiction.

With increasing usage, opium causes physiological changes in the brain, and altered brains require increasing doses of opium to feel the same effects. With tolerance comes increasing usage, and with increasing usage comes increasing dependency. Opium addicts physically dependent on the drug will need to maintain more than daily usage of opium simply to stave off the ever present and greatly feared opiate withdrawal symptoms and pains. Opium addicts will begin to feel the effects of withdrawal within a few hours of the last dose having worn off, and withdrawal symptoms of opium addiction will increase in intensity for up to 2 days before gradually beginning to subside.

The period of withdrawal can be very difficult and uncomfortable, and because of the intense cravings to use, few opium addicts can maintain a resolve to stay abstinent; and it is very difficult to detox off of opium without professional help.

Although opium addiction does not get the attention of heroin or prescription pain pill addiction, the realities of both addiction and withdrawal are very similar for all of these opium derived products.