The Dangers of Opium Addiction

27 Sep

Opium-based drugs or opiates can be very helpful in the field of medicine, particularly as palliatives (painkillers that do not affect the underlying cause, leading to a proper diagnoses). Unfortunately, opiates have become more commonly used recreationally, causing addiction in people of different ages, races, and classes. This has resulted to widespread production of opiates that are sold and used illicitly.

Essentially, an opiate is a compound that is obtained from the opium plant (or poppy plant). Though it may initially relieve pain, frequent consumption of opiates can lead to a variety of serious health complication. Individuals who become addicted to opium-based compounds often suffer damage their central nervous system, causing stupor, coma, and in some cases, even death.

The main variants of opiates include codeine, papaverine, thebaine, morphine, and heroin.

Codeine. Codeine can be used for medical purposes. In hospital settings, it is used as medication for cough, pain, bowel syndrome, and diarrhea. However, it is also used illicitly because it can also bring about a feeling of euphoria. An overdose of codeine can generate a wide range of complications, including drowsiness, constipation, hypotension, urinary retention, and respiratory complications.

Papaverine and Thebaine. The structure of thebaine is rather similar to the structural form of codeine and morphine. Thebaine is also called paramorphine. This type of substance is not used alone. Some of the drugs that are administered with thebaine include naltrexone, nalbuphine, buprenorphine, and oxycodone. An overdose of thebaine is totally comparable to the side-effects of codeine and morphine.

Morphine. Morphine, a variant of alkaline-derived compound, is the most common and the most available opium-based substance nowadays. Morphine is very significant in the field of medicine due to the fact that it is used for the treatment of disorders such as the accumulation of fluids in the lungs. Complications caused by an overdose of morphine include coma, pulmonary edema, congestive cardiac failure, pulmonary failure, respiratory depression, and death.

Heroin. Heroin is considered to be a semi-synthetic opium. Due to the fact that the demand for this opium-based compound is very grand, heroin business is considered to be one of the fastest growing illegal industries. Heroin use is a common cause of transmission of HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Overdosing or continued abuse of heroin results in respiratory depression, chronic constipation, kidney failure, and also death.

The treatment procedures for opium-based addiction may be conducted in a residential or a non-residential basis. The entire treatment method in both situations is divided into two parts: the detox and the counseling. Detoxification involves the elimination of harmful substances from the drug dependent person’s body. In counseling, the person who has drug addiction problems is convinced to pursue an improved life.

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One Response to “The Dangers of Opium Addiction”

  1. afflictedbyboredom September 30, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    Yeah, opiate abuse will mess you up pretty bad. Oxy, hydrocodone (Vicodin) morphine, and heroin are the ones that got me.

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