Opium is a highly addictive non-synthetic narcotic that is extracted from the poppy plant, Papaver somniferum. The opium poppy is the key source for many narcotics, including morphine, codeine, and heroin.
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Opium can be a liquid, solid, or powder, but most poppy straw concentrate is available commercially as a fine brownish powder.
Methods of abuse:
Opium can be smoked, intravenously injected, or taken in pill form. Opium is also abused in combination with other drugs. For example, “Black” is a combination of marijuana, opium, and methamphetamine, and “Buddha” is potent marijuana spiked with opium.
Effect on body:
Opium inhibits muscle movement in the bowels leading to constipation. It also can dry out the mouth and mucous membranes in the nose. Opium use leads to physical and psychological dependence, and can lead to overdose.
Effect on mind:
The intensity of opium’s euphoric effects on the brain depends on the dose and route of administration. It works quickly when smoked because the opiate chemicals pass into the lungs, where they are quickly absorbed and then sent to the brain. An opium “high” is very similar to a heroin “high”; users experience a euphoric rush, followed by relaxation and the relief of physical pain.
Drugs causing similar effects:
Drugs that cause similar effects include: morphine, codeine, heroin, methadone, hydroquinone, fentanyl, and oxycodone.
Overdose effects include: slow breathing, seizures, dizziness, weakness, loss of consciousness, coma, and possible death.