Trusted Content

Opium Addiction And The Best Rehab Centers For Treatment

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

February 12, 2019

Opium is a highly addictive narcotic drug derived from poppy seed pods. While it is rare in North America today, people in all parts of the world are continuing to struggle with opium and the life-altering effects of the drug.

How Opium Addiction Occurs

The alkaloids in opium stay in the individual’s system for up to 48 hours. The addiction happens quickly, and some users report addiction within just two weeks of use.

Short-term effects of opium may include:

  • increased sense of well-being
  • sedation
  • calmness
  • slowed breathing
  • lowered blood pressure
  • slowed heart rate
  • unconsciousness
  • respiratory distress

Many of these feelings are what cause people to want to continue smoking opium. Yet opium users run a high risk of developing a tolerance to the drug. As a person’s opium tolerance increases, so does the amount needed to get high, often leading to dependence on the drug.

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Withdrawal Symptoms

Opium’s withdrawal symptoms are quite intense, and as such make the addiction difficult to overcome. Common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • mood swings
  • sweating
  • insomnia
  • depression
  • muscle twitches

The intensity of these symptoms often send addicted individual right back to the drug, even if they wish to quit.

Opium Addiction Treatment

Because of the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms, individuals who are addicted to opium need to seek professional treatment in order to overcome their addiction. Inpatient addiction may be one of the most effective options. In an inpatient treatment center, the addicted individual will check in to the program and go through the withdrawal process under the care of professional treatment specialists.

Outpatient treatment requires more discipline on the part of the addicted individual, but provides more freedom. In an outpatient treatment setup, the addicted individual will check in with the treatment professionals on a regular schedule to keep tabs on how treatment is going, but are able to continue living at home and attending normal activities. Mild opium addictions may be treatable on an outpatient basis, but severe cases need the support of an inpatient treatment program.

In addition to the inpatient and outpatient therapies, medical detox is another option. Medical detox involves medical professionals in addition to the treatment specialists who can provide medical support for the withdrawal symptoms. This might include medication to mange symptoms and a gradual stepping down of the drug to help lessen dependence. Whether inpatient or outpatient treatment is chosen, opium addiction is best treated with the help of medical detox.

For help finding the right treatment program for your addiction, contact an addiction treatment specialist at

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