Smoking Opium – What are the short and long-term effects?
Important InformationThis information is for educational purposes only. We never invite or suggest the use, production or purchase of any these substances. Addiction Resource and it’s employees, officers, managers, agents, authors, editors, producers, and contributors shall have no direct or indirect liability, obligation, or responsibility to any person or entity for any loss, damage, or adverse consequences alleged to have happened as a consequence of material on this website. See full text of disclaimer.
As a very fast method of taking a drug, smoking causes opium to hit the brain quickly. In general terms, opium is a sedative and an analgesic, or a pain reliever.
It slows down the parts of the brain that control automatic body functions such as breathing, digestion, allergic reaction, and feeling pain. Overall, there is a danger of overdose with first use. As a person’s breathing can slow too much, or even stop.
The liquid of the opium plant seed pod becomes a gummy substance when refined. As such,
to smoke opium, the raw material or a dried powder version of it is heated, and the released vapor is inhaled. Smoked opium travels quickly from the lungs to the brain.
Table of Contents
10 Short-Term Effects of Smoking Opium
In the beginning, users feel euphoria or a high feeling of pleasure. Particularly, as the brain floods with opium, body functions slow down. A person feels drowsy and like they are a dream state.
Other short-term effects include:
- Breathing slows down
- Body temperature changes
- Pupils become pinpoints
- Pain goes away
- Slow movements
- Falling asleep or “nodding off.”
- No longer worry or feel anxiety
- Mental fog
- Nausea, vomiting
10 Long-Term Effects of Smoking Opium
The body quickly develops a tolerance to opium, needing more of the drug to achieve the first pleasurable state. The quest for pleasure and glee becomes a compulsion to get more opium. As a result, drug seeking behavior increases often leading a person to neglect other aspects of their health. Also, when taking more, uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms can occur as soon as a dose wears off. Avoidance of feeling sick creates more of a need for the drug.
Other long-term effects include:
- Increased toxins in the lungs due to smoking and contaminants in the opium or smoking tools.
- Chronic slowing of breathing can cause problems related to low blood oxygen.
- The weakening of the immune system causes users to get sick more often.
- Chronic skin flushing and itching because opium triggers the body to release histamines which cause allergic reactions.
- Sexual impotence.
- Rebound effect of increased anxiety
- Rebound effect of increased pain
- Mental fog stays around even when not using the drug
- Increased anger, irritability when withdrawal starts
- Risk of switching to stronger opiate drugs
As a sedative and pain reliever, opium causes body systems to slow down. Therefore, a person experiences a drowsy, dreamlike state with a decrease in feeling pain and anxiety. Risks include breathing slowing to a stop. Long term effects include health problems and increased drug seeking behavior due to tolerance and the need to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
- Kuhn, C., Swartzwelder, S., & Wilson, W. (2003). Buzzed: The straight facts about the most used and abused drugs from alcohol to ecstasy. 2nd edition. W.W. Norton & Company: New York
Where do calls go
Calls to our general hotline may be answered by private treatment providers.