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Opium Withdrawal Symptoms and Signs, and Detoxification

The U.S. National Library of Medicine states that 9 percent of Americans will abuse some form of opiates during their lifetime. While there is no guarantee that the abuse of opium will lead to dependency, prolonged or heavy use, followed by sudden stoppage, can lead to opium withdrawal.

Completely ending the use of opium is not the only way to bring on withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal can also occur if you lower your intake of opium significantly. As the body develops a dependence on the drug, any large change downward in dosage will bring about opium withdrawal, with the accompanying withdrawal symptoms.

Opium withdrawal symptoms tend to occur in two stages during the withdrawal process. Early on in the process, the former user can develop achy muscles and suffer from insomnia, anxiety, uncontrollable yawning, excessive sweating, and tearing of the eyes. As the withdrawal progresses, other symptoms will likely occur, including abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Symptoms of opium withdrawal can begin within hours of the last dose and can last up to several weeks. The length and severity of the symptoms experienced depend largely upon the length of opium use and the dosages taken before entering into the withdrawal period.

To lessen the severity of opium withdrawal symptoms, a period of medically assisted detoxification is necessary. During detox, the opium is removed from the user's system using either a tapering off treatment program with an alternate opioid, or through a rapid detox procedure.

Withdrawing from Opium: Treatment Methods and Options for Help

A full opium withdrawal treatment includes both detoxification and drug counseling to address the physical and psychological dependence caused by opium use. This treatment begins with a medical exam to determine the patient's general health, including an interview to find out if there are any other drugs the patient may be taking at the time of entry into the withdrawal program. Once the exam is completed, the patient may be kept under medical observation for up to 24 hours with medication provided to stabilize the patient's body chemistry, if necessary. After the initial medical exam and observation period, the patient is given one of two detox treatments.

Rapid detox is a quick and relatively symptom-free method of dealing with opium detoxification. Using anesthesia, the patient is put to sleep for one to two hours. During this period, the opium is flushed from the opioid receptors in the brain and spinal column. When the patient awakens, the physical dependence on the drug is gone. Without this dependence, there are few opium withdrawal symptoms experienced, and those that occur are mild in severity.

If the patient chooses a tapering off detox approach, a different drug is introduced to take the place of the opium in the opioid receptors in the patient's body. This new drug knocks the opium from the receptors and prevents any other opioid from binding with the receptors and providing the patient with a euphoric response. As the new medication is also an opioid, it is given in gradually decreasing doses over a period of a few weeks. This allows the patient's body to adjust to consistently smaller amounts of opioids in the system. By the time the last dose is given, the amounts of opioid drugs in the system are so small that the patient displays little or no withdrawal symptoms.

After each treatment type, the patient is monitored for side effects for up to 48 hours before being released from the facility. Medical personnel are made available during the monitoring period to react to any emergencies that may occur.
Psychological dependence on opium is treated during the detox period as well. Individual drug counseling is provided to the patient, and group counseling is highly recommended to help the patient develop tools to aid in the prevention of future relapse.

Detoxing, Addiction Treatment Rehab and Recovery

Rapid anesthesia opium detox must occur within a medical facility for the patient's safety. The tapering process can be done either on an inpatient or outpatient basis. In an outpatient program, the medication given to patients using the tapering method is formulated to cause withdrawal symptoms immediately upon abuse of the medication itself, or upon taking any additional opioid drugs.
Further treatment for opium addiction and opium withdrawal is available after going through detox. Call 1-888-658-5242 if you have any questions about treatment programs or available facilities. The call is toll-free and hotline operators are available 24 hours a day.

Opium Information at a Glance
Medication Name, CostsClass of Medicine
  • Generic Name: Opium
  • Generic Name Variations: N/A
  • Chemical Name: Opium is derived from different drugs that have different chemical names.
  • Brand Name: N/A
  • Brand Name Variations: N/A
  • Cost/Price: For the United States, $30-$50 per gram is average
  • Used to Treat Addiction? N/A
  • Function or Use at Low Dose: Euphoria
  • Function or Use at High Dose: N/A
  • Chemical Makeup: N/A
  • System: Euphoric depressant, analgesic
  • Duration of Action: 4-6 hours
Form, Intake and DosageInteractions and Complications
  • Drug Forms: Powder, liquid
  • Administration Routes: Snorted, Inhaled (Smoked), Injected
  • Dosage: N/A
  • Overdose: Because heroin is so addictive, it can be hard not to overdose.
  • Alcohol Interaction: Opium should not be mixed with alcohol
  • Illicit Drugs: Opium is sometimes cut with other drugs, making it exceedingly dangerous
  • Prescription Medications: Again, opium is sometimes cut with other drugs, and it just makes it more dangerous
  • Contraindications: N/A
Effects and Adverse ReactionsSubstance Abuse
  • Short-Term: Euphoria, heavy limbs, dry mouth, alternating wakeful and drowsy state, clouded mental function
  • Long-Term: slow respiratory functions, toxic reactions, liver disease, kidney disease
  • Risk of Substance Abuse: It is highly addictive, and it is an opiate that is abused very often.
  • Signs of Abuse: Anxiety, neglect
Physiological Problem Signs and SymptomsDependence and Addiction Issues
  • Withdrawal Syndrome Onset: N/A
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Anxiety, muscle cramps, insomnia, goose bumps, dilated pupils, diarrhea, sweaty nose, vomiting, yawning, tears, agitation
  • Tolerance: The more you use opium, the more tolerant your body becomes to it
  • Cross Dependence: N/A
  • Physical Dependence: Your body doesn’t need it
  • Psychological Dependence: Your brain sends your body signals that it needs it, but your body doesn’t need it
Legal Schedules and Ratings
  • Controlled Substances Act Rating: Schedule II



Questions and Answers (FAQ)

How Long Do Opium Withdrawals Last?

The timeline for opium withdrawals is contingent on how dependent the user is on the substance. The duration of severe withdrawal symptoms is usually between 48 to 72 hours. The length of the entire withdrawal can last for up to 14 days.

Do You Have a List Popular Slang or Street Names for Opium?

Tar, hop, midnight oil, big o, dope

What are Common Misspellings?

Opeum withdrawl, opeium withdrawls, ohpium withdrawel, opeeum withdrawels

Are There any Home Remedies for Getting Clean Safely?

If you’re considering a home remedy as an alternative to seeking medical help, you should learn more about the effects of opium withdrawal. Natural remedies aren’t likely to give the same level of relief as professional help, and rehab centers will be able to help alleviate the discomfort that comes during withdrawal.

How Long Does it Take to Detox from Opium?

It can take up to 14 days to detox from opium. If you’re looking for options and programs that can help you, use our online system to find a local drug rehab center. Call 1-888-658-5242 now; don’t wait until it’s too late.

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