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Opium Addiction Treatment

An Old, Old Drug

Opium is one of the oldest drugs used by humans and derived from opium poppies native to the Middle East. Used for centuries to supply pain killing medicines, sleeping medications, and anti-anxiety sedatives, opium and its derivative drugs have served men well when used wisely. Unfortunately, opium can also cause severe addiction, and it is also well known for the addiction as for the great medical service the drug has rendered.

Winning free from opium:

  • About opium and addiction
  • Detox
  • Counseling
  • Finding a counselor or program

How Opium Addiction Works

Opium, like its derivative drugs morphine and heroin, interferes with the natural opiate receptors in the brain, providing a far more intense pain-killing and pleasure reaction than those opioids normally produced by the brain. Humans tend to reflexively favor “bigger and better” sensations, especially where pleasure is concerned. As a result, the brain begins to respond with compulsion to continue supplying the preferred substance. The reaction is more than just conscious pleasure, though: the underlying neurological systems respond to the “false” opioid, changing their pattern and interfering with the behavior of the body. Clinical addiction consists of this combination of physical need and mental need, reinforced by negative reactions to withdrawal, and pleasant, positive reactions to use.

Detox: The Gate to Recovery

The only escape from the escalating demands of addiction is to stop using, deal with the misery of detoxification, and proceed to retrain to compensate for old, bad habits and for the damage done to the body. The process is seldom pleasant.

When going through detox for opium abuse, an addict is likely to experience nausea, cramps, pain, sweating, convulsions, severe mood swings, anxiety, paranoia, and depression. The process of withdrawal generally takes several days to a week. During this time, the body will naturally flush the remains of the drug from the system. Unfortunately, it can’t flush the addiction so easily. After the process of detox, and sometimes during, the process of retraining must begin.

Learning New Life-Ways

Addiction continues after the drug has been withdrawn: the mental and physical changes caused by habitual use continue, causing compulsion to use, triggering desire over and over again. The only effective treatment is to build new habits to deal with the addiction. For most people, the best route to accomplish this is through therapy and counseling. Drug counseling usually consists of a combination of behavior modification training, personal counseling, family and group counseling, and a necessary ongoing involvement in follow up programs, often 12-step programs.

This selection of different treatments and approaches works on various levels. Behavior modification teaches new skills and self-management techniques, along with new habitual behaviors to replace the old addictive ones. Counseling in the company of others provides insight into your own triggers and addictive weaknesses, as well as the strengths you can draw on to combat the addiction. Follow-up therapy is often the best and most reliable treatment to ensure a long and happy recovery.

Finding a Program or Counselor

Finding someone to help you or a loved one recover from an opium addiction can be intimidating. Fortunately, there are resources to draw on that can put you in contact with reliable, trustworthy professionals and treatment programs, pointing out services best suited to your needs. Referrals can come from many institutions and individuals: hospitals, clinics, your own doctor or medical group. In many cases, religious institutions provide referrals to reliable professional services, as do state or county health or family services departments. Finally, you can contact professional referral services to find counseling you need.

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