Due to the presence of morphine in opium and codeine, addiction to opium and opiates share the same signs.
These drugs are highly addictive and are consumed to produce the feelings of well-being, euphoria and warmth. These drugs are usually taken by people who would like to ‘forget’ about their problems as after taking the drug, nothing else seems to matter.
Known in folk medicine as a painkiller and anesthetic, the use of opium would show signs of being lightheaded and of euphoria. The person seems not to mind the things that happen around him.
In Canada, a person who has been consuming opium may easily develop tolerance. It would be easy to notice this as the person tends to increase his consumption of the drug. The addict would feel the need to increase the amount of drug taken to achieve the same feeling of euphoria and warmth.
Some of the common signs of opioid addiction include:
- Noticeable elation and signs of euphoria.
- Marked sedation & drowsiness.
- Constricted pupils
- Slowed breathing
- Nodding off, and / or loss of consciousness.
Because of the development of tolerance to the drug, poisoning due to opium is likely. The adverse effects of morphine, which is the chief constituent of opium, include respiratory difficulties.
The lung function may later diminish and eventually stop. Lung edema could also occur. Respiratory and cardiac collapse is very possible, after which, the person might fall into a coma.
Once a person was proven to become addicted to this drug, it is important to have the person undergo rehabilitation as soon as possible. To help in the treatment of opium and opiate addiction, medications such as methadone, naltrexone or ibogaine may be used.
These medications will help in addressing the withdrawal symptoms and lessen the person’s craving for the drug.