Opium addiction can affect a person's physical, emotional, psychological, and financial aspects in life. In fact, those who are hooked on the drug may feel isolated, lonely or hopeless. These effects may be long-term, and some end up having suicidal or violent thoughts because of their feelings. All opium addicts also suffer from health issues and death.
In 2009, about 7 million people were reported to abuse opium more than other drugs. The statistics show that more people suffer from the negative symptoms and effects of the drug. They may also affect other people, particularly their loved ones who are concerned about their health and well-being.
Opium addiction affects the central nervous system of a person. With chronic use of the substance, an individual may become dependent on the drug. Even first-time users are likely to develop a tolerance for opium. After people have used the drug for a long period, the brain cells begin to malfunction. The body may stop producing endorphins, which serve as the natural opiates. When this happens, people will become dependent on the drug when they need relief from pain. On the other hand, abrupt withdrawal from the substance can cause numerous effects that may be lethal.
Some people are confused about opiates and opioid. The main difference between the two terms is that opiates are natural opium alkaloids, and opioids are man-made or synthetic. There are also different degrees in which these drugs are formed. The potency depends on the other chemicals that may be added to the drug.
When a person no longer feels pain, he or she may experience dependence on the drug. Some individuals may crave for another dose of opium, and they may be unable to control their urges. This obsession and compulsion have more of the drug may lead to negative symptoms. The signs of addiction may be evident on the way a person thinks, acts and deals with others.
An addiction to opium may begin after the prescription or the pain is gone. Then, these individuals may display numerous symptoms. The signs of opium addiction are evident in the negative physical, emotional and social behavior of these people.
When they have become hooked and addicted to the drug, they may act in a violent or aggressive manner. Some may have difficulties in concentrating or performing other tasks because they are preoccupied with the drug. They may be irritable and hyperactive, while others may be very restless. It is also common among drug addicts to have poor coordination, and they may lack balance. Since they are fixated on taking more of the drugs, they may have poor judgment and inability to make wise decisions.
When these people are not able to fight these symptoms anymore, they may become frequently depressed and begin to think of suicidal thoughts. Others may suffer from rapid heartbeat that may result in death.
Withdrawal from any type of drug can be a very difficult phase in the life of a drug addict. Moreover, those who have been accustomed to using the drug may suffer from seizures, heart failure and severe damages to the nervous and respiratory system.
Among the other signs of withdrawal from opium include the following:
Initially, a person may feel pleasure or excitement upon taking the drug. However, they may suffer from severe depression and lethargy when the effect is no longer felt. They may also end up experiencing respiratory complications, very low blood pressure and malnutrition.
An overdose on opium may occur when a person has taken large amounts of the drug frequently. The common signs of overdose are seizures, slow breathing, dizziness, drowsiness, weakness, confusion, pinpointed pupils, loss of consciousness, tiredness and cold skin.
Opium can be very addictive, and tolerance may develop when a person's body has adjusted to the effects of the drug. In addition, those who are addicted to the substance may have problems with their personal relationships and health. They may be unable to live a happy and normal life because of the negative effects of the drug that interfere with their mental, psychological and physical health.