Opium drug addiction can develop rapidly. Opium is classified as a Schedule II drug due to its high risk for abuse and the likelihood of inducing severe physical and psychological dependence.
How Addictive Is Opium?
Opium refers to the milky, latex sap derived from the poppy plant. Extracts directly obtained from the plant are termed opiates. These natural painkillers are commonly utilized for medicinal purposes. Opiates can also undergo synthesis, leading to the creation of opioids, which are artificial pain-relieving compounds. Opioids may be wholly synthetic (fentanyl) or semi-synthetic (heroin).
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Opium is as a fundamental component in various widely recognized psychoactive substances, including:
Health professionals have long used medications containing opium-derived elements, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl, for a range of therapeutic purposes.
Addiction to opium and its derivatives, including opioids, can develop rapidly. The addictive nature of opium can be attributed to the way it interacts with the brain’s reward system, leading to the release of dopamine (a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reinforcement of rewarding behaviors). The repeated use of opium can result in the development of tolerance, meaning that higher doses are needed to deliver the intended effects. Long-term opium use may also trigger both physical and psychological dependence, making it challenging for people to discontinue use without experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
Chronic use of opium can lead to many adverse outcomes, including increased tolerance, withdrawal symptoms upon cessation, and a powerful urge to continue using the substance despite negative consequences. The risk of addiction is influenced by various factors, including the method of consumption, the frequency and duration of use, genetic predispositions, and the presence of co-occurring mental health conditions.
Approach the use of opium and other opioids with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional to minimize the risk of developing dependence and addiction. Treatment for opium addiction often involves a combination of medication-assisted therapy, counseling, and behavioral interventions to help individuals manage cravings, cope with withdrawal symptoms, and work towards long-term recovery.
Opium Addiction Signs
Opium addiction can manifest through various behavioral and physical signs that may indicate the presence of a substance use disorder. Some common signs of an opium addict include:
- Neglecting responsibilities: Opium addicted individuals may neglect their responsibilities at work, school, or home due to an increased focus on obtaining and using opium.
- Changes in social circles: A shift in social circles or withdrawal from previously enjoyed activities and social interactions may occur as a result of opium addiction.
- Financial difficulties: Opium addiction can lead to financial strain as individuals may prioritize acquiring the substance over meeting financial obligations.
- Increased tolerance: Over time, individuals may develop an increased tolerance to opium, requiring higher doses to achieve the desired effects.
- Doctor shopping: People may engage in doctor shopping to obtain multiple prescriptions for opium or engage in other deceptive practices to acquire the substance.
Recognizing these signs can prompt timely intervention and treatment, streamlining the recovery journey and improving well-being. Early identification of opium addiction can help individuals access the appropriate support and resources needed to address the underlying issues and work towards a substance-free life.
Symptoms of Opium Addiction
DSM-5-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, revised Fifth Edition) outlines several criteria for diagnosing opioid use disorder, which includes opium addiction. The following symptoms are associated with opium addiction:
- Taking more opium intended.
- Trying and failing to cut down or discontinue opium use.
- Spending excessive time obtaining and opium.
- Cravings for opium manifesting.
- Failing to fulfill role commitments due to recurrent opium use.
- Continued opium use despite having persistent interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of opium.
- Giving up important activities because of opium use.
- Ongoing opium use in situations in which it is physically hazardous.
- Continued opium use despite knowledge of having a physical or psychological condition that caused or inflamed by opium use.
- Tolerance developing so that more opium is required to deliver the initial effects.
- Withdrawal symptoms presenting in the absence of opium.
Consult with a qualified healthcare professional for a comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis, as well as to discuss appropriate treatment options and interventions for opium addiction.
Treatment for Opium Addiction
Treatment for opium addiction normally involves a comprehensive approach that addresses the physical, psychological, and behavioral aspects of addiction. Some key components of treatment for opium addiction include:
- Medical detoxification: Medically supervised detoxification is often the first step in treating opium addiction, helping individuals manage withdrawal symptoms in a safe and controlled environment.
- MAT (medication-assisted treatment): Medications like naltrexone, methadone, and buprenorphine may be prescribed to help manage cravings, reduce withdrawal symptoms, and prevent relapse during the recovery process.
- Behavioral therapy: Various forms of behavioral therapy, including motivational interviewing, contingency management, and CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), can help people identify and change harmful patterns of thinking and behavior associated with opium addiction.
- Support groups: Participation in support groups, such as NA (Narcotics Anonymous) or SMART Recovery, can provide individuals with a sense of community and understanding as they navigate the challenges of recovery.
- Dual diagnosis treatment: For those diagnosed with co-occurring mental health conditions, coordinated treatment that addresses both the addiction and the underlying mental health issues is essential for successful recovery.
- Aftercare planning: Developing a comprehensive aftercare plan that includes ongoing therapy, support group participation, and strategies for managing triggers and cravings can help individuals maintain sobriety and prevent relapse in the long term.
By combining these various treatment approaches, individuals can receive comprehensive support that addresses the physical, emotional, and social aspects of opium addiction, promoting lasting recovery and improved overall well-being.
Get Treatment for Opium Addiction at California Detox
Are you or a family member addicted to opium or another opioid? If so, consider kickstarting your recovery at California Detox.
During supervised detoxification at our beachside facility in Laguna Beach, CA, you can withdraw from opioids as safely and comfortably as possible. You will also be perfectly placed to move into ongoing inpatient treatment to tackle the psychological aspect of opium addiction.
All treatment programs at California Detox allow you to access a personalized blend of treatments that may include medications, psychotherapies, counseling, family therapy, and a range of holistic interventions. Call 949.694.8305 to live unconstrained by strong opioids like opium.