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Opium Addiction


Opium is highly addictive. Tolerance (the need for higher and higher doses to maintain the same effect) and physical and psychological dependence develop quickly. Withdrawal from opium causes nausea, tearing, yawning, chills, and sweating.

As long ago as 100 AD, opium had been used as a folk medicine, taken with a beverage or swallowed as a solid. Only toward the middle of the 17th century, when opium smoking was introduced into China, did any serious addiction problems arise. In the 18th century opium addiction was so serious there that the Chinese made many attempts to prohibit opium cultivation and opium trade with Western countries. At the same time opium made its way to Europe and North America, where addiction grew out of its prevalent use as a painkiller.

How Opium Addiction Happens:

Alkaloids found in Opium will build up in your system and stay there for 24 to 48 hours, so using every other day is going to get you into trouble real fast. If you have been using for awhile, try to taper off gradually to reduce the amount of alkaloids in your bloodstream, this will also lessen the withdrawal symptoms somewhat. It takes a strong willed person to be able to resist the temptations of Opium, but if you don't, she will teach you a harsh lesson, one that you won't soon forget.

Opium consists of many chemicals that affect the human body. The most notable of the opium alkaloids are morphine and codeine. Both are narcotic in their effects, but morphine is the more potent of the two. When morphine, codeine, or any other opiate is introduced into the body, a host of things begin to occur. The first time user of opiates usually will become nauseous and even vomit. The pupils constrict, pulse slows, blood pressure falls, and respiration slows. The user begins to feel warm, euphoric, and relaxed. As time progresses, feelings of fear, panic, and anxiety lessen. Depending on how much has been taken, this progresses into a drowsy, dreamy state leading to a deep sometimes-dreamless sleep. Repeated use leads to more appreciation of the narcotic effects of opiates. However, repeated use also leads to addiction.

Opiates are a very determinate bunch. Unlike some drugs, if you habitually use opiates, you will become physically and possibly psychologically dependent. There are three different sequences that occur with opiates. The first of these is physical dependence. Physical dependence occurs when the body has become used to the opiate being there, and has adapted to using it in order to function properly. If the opiate is suddenly stopped, withdrawal symptoms will occur. These include restlessness, anxiety, rapid pulse, increased blood pressure, crying, runny nose, yawning, muscle spasms, back pain, tremors, and many other symptoms. These will usually begin 8 - 24 hours after the last dose, peak within 48 - 72 hours, and subside in about 7 - 10 days. Their severity depends on the opiate used, how often, and how much.

The next sequence of events is tolerance. Tolerance occurs when the body gets used to a certain amount of the opiate being there, and it requires more and more to get the desired effect. Tolerance varies widely from person to person. The last of these is psychological dependence. Psychological dependence occurs when the person begins to “crave” the opiate effects. This type of dependence is known as addiction, and is very powerful and hard to overcome. It occurs after using the opiate for a long period of time, and last for a long time after stopping the opiate. Sometimes, even a lifetime. It doesn’t occur in all opiate users, but can before you even know it. Addiction to opiates is a long hard battle to beat.

Opiate Addiction News:

Iowa U Students Busted for Opium Pods
Posted by ajones -- April 6, 2003

Two ISU students were arrested Wednesday after members from the Central Iowa Drug Task Force discovered seven storage bins containing growing mushrooms and more than 100 opium poppy pods in their apartment, said ISU Police Capt. Gene Deisinger.


Ryan Paul Peterson, senior in environmental science, and Nicholas Andrew Jones, senior in computer engineering, were each charged with manufacture of psilocybin mushrooms, possession of raw opium poppy with intent to deliver and two tax stamp violations for the opium and mushrooms.

Task force members received a tip from an individual who believed someone was manufacturing drugs at 1221 Frederiksen Court.

The task force is made up of officers from ISU Police, Ames Police, the Story County Sheriff's Office and the Boone County Sheriff's office, Deisinger said.

Officers from the task force were invited into Peterson and Jones' residence, 1221 Frederiksen Court, Wednesday during a follow-up interview.

At that time, officers observed drugs in the apartment in plain view, Deisinger said.

One officer stayed behind in the apartment, while other officers went to a judge to obtain a search warrant, he said.

Following a search of the apartment, officers discovered Peterson and Jones were both growing mushrooms in their bedrooms and had several opium poppy pods, he said.

Police also seized several dozen quart jars they believe possibly contain mushroom spores.

Deisinger said the reason Peterson and Jones were charged with intent to deliver is most likely because of the large quantity of drugs found at the residence. He said there is no evidence at this time either were successful in delivering the drugs to others.

Deisinger said a drug bust this large is not common at Iowa State. He said an ISU Police officer arrested a Towers Residence Association resident for growing mushroom spores in a glass jar in December.

However, he said that particular incident was "not nearly the magnitude" of these recent drug related arrests.

Dean of Students Pete Englin could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Peterson and Jones were transported to the Story County Jail Wednesday where they are being held on $175,000 bond.

If convicted on all felony charges, each could face up to 30 years in jail and fines ranging from $3,500 to $34,010, according to the Iowa Code.

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  • Alcohol Facts
  • Opium addiction occurs very rapidly, sometimes within weeks.
  • The effects felt from opium last approximately 4 hours.
  • Opium, in its raw form is likely to be contaminated with bacteria and fungi.
  • Opium is the crudest form and also the least potent of the Opiates.