Steps to Treating Opium Addiction

Steps to Treating Opium Addiction

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Opium addiction is a real problem, just like with other drugs out there, but opium use may be on the rise in recent years due to an explosion in popularity from pain pills.  For some reason, opiate use and awareness has really taken off in the last decade, especially the opiate based used from prescription drugs, and particularly among young people.  This of course leads to a number of interesting problems.

For one, because teens have been experimenting with opiate based pain pills as their new drug of choice, this creates an aging population of opiate addicts.  The kids who were using their parent’s pain pills when they were younger are now growing older and many of them are still addicted to opiates or they are returning to opiates in some form.

Second of all, the youth of today seems to still be tuned in to opiates as a recreational drug, and so opiate use continues to be a problem among teens.

So the demand for opiates continues to stay high, and of course many people will turn to the streets or to friends when they run out of prescription pills.  And of course, drug addicts and drug dealers are going to suggest alternatives to pain pills, such as heroin or opium.

Capsule of Papaver somniferum, opium poppy
Creative Commons License photo credit: R@jeev

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Opium is addictive for the same reason that heroin or prescription pain pills are addictive.  It is an opiate based drug that fills up the brains opiate receptors and makes the drug addict feel exceptionally good for a period of time.  Treating opium addiction is going to be similar to treating addiction for any other opiates, including heroin.

The best way to start out for treating an opiate addiction is to get the addict clean from all drugs.  Abstinence based programs are going to be the most effective in the long run. Doing this is not always easy, however, because of the particularly intense withdrawal symptoms that an opiate user will go through when they stop using the drug.  Therefore, going to a medical detox is advisable if you are attempting to kick opium, because there they can help you out by easing you through the nasty symptoms of detox.

After that it is a matter of learning how to live a clean life without self medicating, a feat that is much easier said than done.  That is why there are entire programs dedicated to learning how to live a new way of life, such as the 12 step program of Narcotics Anonymous.

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