Professionalism and Experience


Opium Overview

Opium is a narcotic derived from the seed pod of a poppy plant. It works by increasing smooth muscle tone and decreasing fluid secretions in the intestines. This slows the movement of bowel matter through the intestines. Opium preparation (sometimes called "opium tincture" or "paregoric") is used to treat diarrhea. Opium preparation is sometimes given with other anti-diarrhea medication such as kaolin and pectic (Kaopectate). Traditionally the unripened pod is slit open and the sap seeps out and dries on the outer surface of the pod. The resulting yellow-brown latex, which is scraped off of the pod, is bitter in taste and contains varying amounts of alkaloids such as morphine, codeine, thebaine and papaverine.

Opium Abuse Treatment

Several medical treatment options exist for Opium addiction. These treatments can be effective when combined with a medication compliance program and behavioral therapy. Methadone (Dolophine®, Methadose®), buprenorphine (Subutex® , brand discontinued in U.S), buprenorphine combined with naloxone (Suboxone®) and naltrexone (Depade®, ReVia®) are approved in the US to treat opioid dependence. These treatments work by binding fully or partially to opiate receptors in the brain and work as agonists, antagonists or a combination of the two. Agonists mimic the action of the opiate, and antagonists block and reverse the action of the opiate. Oral administration of these drugs may allow for a more gradual withdrawal from opiates. A long-acting intramuscular depot formulation of naltrexone (Vivitrol®) is also available for use following opiate detoxification. Methadone has been used for over a quarter century to treat Opium addiction. The use of methadone in opiate dependency is highly regulated in the US, and may differ between states. Oral methadone is approved for opiate detoxification and maintenance only in approved and certified treatment programs, although certain emergency or inpatient care exceptions exist. Patients usually need to visit a center daily for treatment and follow-up; however, special exceptions may be granted for Sundays, State and Federal holidays, and other times as determined by the Treatment Center Medical Director.

Opium Signs of Abuse

People who use or abuse Opium will eventually display various signs and symptoms of their drug habit; still, not all Opium abusers will be the same, as some use Opium differently and in different quantities. It all depends on the level of dependency, which can easily be life-threatening if not medically supervised. Opium withdrawal is one of the worst fears of any individual suffering from addiction making it the hardest drug to quit in the world. Here are some signs of Opium abuse:

  • Confused thinking/loss of coordination
  • Speech is slurred
  • A constant runny nose
  • The need to wear long sleeves and pants often
  • Frequently lies
  • Speech is slurred
  • Weight loss
  • Personality changes
  • Excessive sleeping

Effects of Opium Abuse

Opium can cause euphoria, followed by a sense of well-being and a calm drowsiness or sedation. Breathing slows, potentially to the point of unconsciousness and death with large doses. Other effects can include nausea, confusion and constipation. Use of opium with other substances that depress the central nervous system, such as alcohol, antihistamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, or general anesthetics, increases the risk of life-threatening respiratory depression.

Opium Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal from Opium addiction may lead to harsh symptoms and uncomfortable effects on the body, such as:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Anxiety
  • Inability to Sleep

Opium Abuse Statistics
  • Nearly 50% of U.S. soldiers who served in the Vietnam War had experimented with opium or Opium while deployed, and 20% had become addicted and reported withdrawal symptoms (a definite sign of opiate addiction.)

  • The age of first use for Opium was 22.2 in 2005. (It was 17.4 for marijuana, 17.3 for tobacco, and 16.4 for alcohol, and it seems all of those have gotten younger and younger since.)

  • Over 120 million prescriptions were written for hydrocodone, in the form of Vicodin, Norco, Hycodan, and Tussend, in 2006 alone (the most of any prescription drug.)

  • In 2004, there were 3,800 reported deaths attributed to methadone overdose (compared to 780 deaths in 1999.)

  • In 2005, OxyContin sales were around $1 billion, and that does not include money made on generic versions of the drug.


Individualized detox protocols are carefully monitored and tailored to address detox symptoms. As part of our holistic approach, our detox incorporates traditional detox with biofeedback sessions.

Clients being treated in our residential program reside with us for the specific amount of days established in their individualized addiction treatment program.

Our treatment model is rooted in the belief that it is our utmost responsibility to do whatever we can to prepare our clients for life outside of treatment.

In addition to our traditional therapeutic treatments we offer holistic and alternative therapies such as: yoga, chiropractic care, medical massage, personal training and art therapy.