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[top]Introduction to Opium


The Opium Poppy (Papaver Somniferum; also known as the Breadseed Poppy) is arguably the most infamous flower in the history of mankind. Used medically and recreationally since as early as 4200 B.C., Somniferum has been the cause and subject of wars, subjugation, and economic tribulations and prosperities. Used medicinally, it provides the most effective treatments for pain known.

Opium (lachryma papaveris, or "poppy tears" from the Latin) is the dried latex obtained from the opium poppy, and includes codeine, morphine, and non-narcotic alkaloids, such as thebaine, papervine, and noscapine.


[top]Using Opium

There are several different ways opium can be consumed. The most traditional and safest way is smoking opium, because the intensity of the effects can be carefully controlled. The user should chose this method when he has a new batch of opium.

[top]Ways of Administration of Opium

[top]Tea

Making tea of opium is a potential dangerous practice. It is easy to overdose by drinking opium tea. The user should drink it slowly over the course of an hour. This will reduce nausea and possible chances of overdosing.
It is also important to keep the temperature of the tea below 70 C, because it will degrade the product.
The dosages for oral use of opium are 1/3 to 1/2 gram. It is best to start low and test the strength of the opium by smoking. 2 grams can be fatal if used orally. Adding some citric acid will enhance the taste and the effectiveness of the tea.

[top]Smoking

'Smoking' opium is the most safe way and less spilling way of using. Opium is not really smoked, but vaporized like base cocaine. There are several ways of smoking. One can use a normal hash pipe. The procedure is as follow:
  1. Lay the opium on the pipe screen in some ashes.
  2. Put the pipe at your mouth and heat up the opium with a flame, but don't let the flame touch the opium!
  3. Slowly inhale the smoke if it starts to bubble. Refined opium will melt away without leaving much residue. Raw opium will leave a hard residue. The smoke is rather sweet.
  4. Wait some minutes to evaluate the strength of the opium.
  5. Repeat the process at will.

The dosage of opium is the size of a match head (0.1 grams). This is the safest way of using, because one has a lot of control over the dosages and intensity of effects. Because opium doesn't cause the paranoia weed or hash causes, it is easy to overdo it. It is possible to overdose on opium.

There are special opium lamps, which make the smoking of opium much more enjoyable.

It should be noted that smoking from aluminum foil should be avoided. Aluminum can cause Alzheimer's Disease.

[top]Effects of Opium

Opium, Opiates and Opioids all produce similar effects. At low doses they make highly effective painkillers, and at medium to high doses produce euphoria, nausea, sleepiness, “a warm fuzzy” feeling and a sense of peace. They are extremely addictive both mentally and physically and withdrawals from the drugs can be quite intense with effects including but not limited to suicidal thoughts, cold sweats, uncontrollable diarrhea, immobility, sleeplessness, abnormal body temperature and heartbeat and severe depression. Once addicted, these substances are extremely hard to get away from and are capable of ruining ones live completely. The severity of all addictions depend a lot upon the vulnerability of the user towards addiction in general. But none the less this class of substances are extremely dangerous in this regard and should be treated with the utmost respect.

[top]Combinations with Opium


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[top]Different Uses for Opium

The above methods are the only safe uses of opium. One cannot inject opium because of the impurities. It is also not recommended to take opium rectally. Because it contains plant material, it could cause a mold or something similar. Insufflation of opium is not possible. It will clog up the nose without being much absorbed.

If one wishes one of these practices, knowledge of chemistry and further refinement of the product is necessary.

Opium also isn't a topological analgesic, so it won't work when applied to the skin.

This chapter needs to be written. See How to write an article


[top]Pharmacology of Opium



[top]The dangers of Opium

There are many dangers to opium use but many of these can be limited or very non threatening if responsibility and safe use is practiced. The first and foremost danger to opium is due to it being a CNS (central nervous system) depressant, when someone uses to much opium or even opiates they can have their CNS slow down to dangerous levels which can cause breathing problems, heart failure, stroke, and even death. Another danger of opium use is operating heavy, or in some cases even light, machinery. When people use opium it slows down their reaction timing, which can result in injury or death. Driving is not recommended because of this very reason.

A danger to opium use also comes when combining opium with other CNS depressants. This will increase the CNS being slowed down which causes complications as described above. Most used CNS depressants that are combined with opium is alcohol, benzodiazpines, barbiturates (although most of these have been banned), and other types of "downers".

While withdrawals are not usually fatal from opium they are very unpleasant and if other health problems are experienced at the same time can cause very dangerous complications. Opium is a very addictive narcotic that while can cause euphoria can have a physical tolerance built up and once this happens withdrawals are experienced. The mental withdrawals such as depression, irritability, and anger are unpleasant in the least but not as dangerous as the physical withdrawals.

[top]Extremely Addictive

The opium poppy is a very beautiful plant, with a euphoric high, but a staggering downside: addiction. Morphine is one of the most powerfully addicting substances on Earth by itself; in the poppy, this is combined with codeine, papaverine, and thebaine, other potent opiod alkaloids found in the poppies, to form an extremely addictive cocktail. Many users underestimate this plant because it is "natural" or because it's often considered an "ethnobotanical." However don't be fooled, this plant is more addictive than pure morphine, and addiction can be extremely painful, lasting for weeks or more. Long term withdrawal symptoms known as PAWS can last 6 months to a year or longer.

If you do choose to experiment with Poppys, Poppy Tea, or any opiate, self-control is a must.. Using 3 times a week or more in a non-addicted individual can cause severe cravings, only slightly less intense that cocaine cravings. Continued use past 1 week runs the risk of becoming physically addicted, although some individuals can use for 4 weeks before becoming addicted the first time. For people who have already experience opiate addiction once before in their lives, using 3 or 4 days in a row is enough to precipitate withdrawals equivalent to what would be expected after weeks of continued use.

[top]Large Variation in Opiod Content - Overdose Risk

Even if you manage to avert the risks of addiction, and then it's only a matter of time, you still run the risk of overdose-- even if you have prior experience with poppies. The alkaloid content: judged by the amounts of morphine, codeine, thebaine, and papaverine, can vary by extremely large amounts from plant to plant, pod to pod, and seed to seed. This means that if you normally consume 5g of plant material, and you get a batch that's 3x stronger than you are used to, you will actually be consuming an equivalent amount of opiates to 15g of plant material. Clearly this can be vary dangerous. Different batches can easily have a 3x-6x variance OR MORE, a few week batches followed by a strong batch can spell disaster. For this reason, it is very important to know the strength of your tea.

The only way to effectively curb this problem is lab testing every time, but the cost of this service is exorbitant, and the time take to do it make it unfeasible. Instead, a safer (but not totally safe) way to dose poppy tea is to make a batch like you normally would. Instead of drinking the tea all at once, drink about 1/3 and wait 35 - 60 minutes so you get a good feeling of where the effects are. If you notice the tea is unusually bitter or strong, then drink less. Your taste and smell will be your only indicators of how powerful the tea, and this is only for experienced users. This is especially important if you are dosing yourself and no-one else is around to make sure you keep breathing. Accustomize yourself with the aroma and flavor of these alkaloids, and you will lower your risk level accordingly. New users and less experienced users should always use the safer course.

Quote:
N.S. family warns of poppy seed tea dangers


Posted: Jun 4, 2012 1:23 PM ET

Last Updated: Jun 4, 2012 7:34 PM ET

A Nova Scotia family says they want to warn others about the dangers of poppy seed tea after their son died of a morphine overdose.
Cole Marchand, died on May 19 after drinking the tea, which contains different opiates in various concentrations.
"I'm pretty positive that this was the only time that he used this," his father, Darrell Marchand, told CBC News on Monday.
Marchand said his son battled depression and had used drugs in the past.
In May, the 19-year-old ordered a poppy seed pod from China.
People can grind the seed from the pod and turn it into tea.
"The poppy seed tea, once mixed, it basically is morphine," said Marchand.
"The problem is that every pod is different, and the potency is different, you never know where that limit is. If you take too much, then your respiratory system starts to break down, until you eventually go into a coma and you stop breathing."
Marchand believes his son first drank the tea on May 16.
"On Wednesday, he started complaining about an upset stomach and diarrhea, so I went to the drugstore and got him some medication to try to take that away. On Thursday, same thing."
On May 19, his father discovered Cole's body in his bedroom.
"The only thing that helps me is that I know my son didn't suffer."
The provincial medical examiner later ruled Cole Marchand had died of a morphine overdose.
Family warning others

Cole's mother, Tania Marchand, said they hope other families can learn from their tragedy.
"The internet – so dangerous, so dangerous. Kids can find anything that they want," she said. "He was compassionate and kind, and just a really nice kid. He had depression. So I want people to know to take it seriously. Do whatever you can for your kids."
The poppy seed pod purchased by Cole Marchand. Submitted by Carissa Marchand
Cole's sister, Carissa, said she knew her brother had ordered the poppy seed pod online. He sent her a photo of the pod, and she said she had no idea what it was.
"He was texting me a couple days before he died, saying 'Don't worry about me, it's all natural, it's not dangerous,'" she said.
"He was working out, and he was acting happy, so he definitely didn't mean to do something like this."
Carissa Marchand said she wants other teens to know what they read online isn't necessarily true. She said her brother researched the drug thoroughly before drinking it.
"I'm just kind of confused about what websites he was looking at, and where he was getting the idea that it wasn't addictive and it wasn't dangerous."
Darrell Marchand said he's haunted by his son's death, but is speaking out for a reason.
"If we can just help one other family from going through this pain, then his death will not be senseless," he said.
http://www.cbc.ca/m/rich/health/stor...oppy-seed.html


[top]Growing Poppy & producing Opium

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[top]Forms of Opium

[top]Alkaloids

There are a large variety of alkaloids within the poppy sap (i.e. opium). These are why the poppy has remained such an important force in the development of human culture, medicine and civilization. The alkaloids are divided into two chemical classes; isoquinolines and phenanthrenes.
Isoquinolines don’t have any significant effect on the CNS and therefore are considered useless, so governments tend to leave them as unregulated compounds.
Phenanthrenes are considered the magic within the poppy. The most common (both in percentage weight and in extraction for use) phenanthrenes are Morphine, codeine, and thebaine. Conversely just about every government heavily regulates these alkaloids.
Many people, when seeing that morphine and codeine are both natural opiates within opium, tend to underestimate the vastly important role that thebaine plays in semi-synthetic opioid production.
Thebaine is like an odd man out – while both morphine and Codeine have sedating effects and relax the body via the CNS, thebaine does the opposite. It is a stimulant, but once chemically altered is responsible for many narcotic pain killers and products to wean one off of opiate addiction such as oxycodone, oxymorphone, naloxone and buprennorphine to name but a few.

[top]Opiates and Opioids: What’s the difference?


Opiate is an often-misused term. Any drug which affects the opioid receptors is often incorrectly labeled an opiate, however definitionally the opiates refer to alkaloids extracted from poppy pods and their semi-synthetic counterparts which bind to the opioid receptors. Basically to be called an opiate one has to either be a natural opioid receptor agonist or start the refining process with one of the natural alkaloid molecules. Once chemically altered, such as the process of converting Morphine into Heroin, the drug is then labeled a semi-synthetic opiate or semi-synthetic opioid - the terms can be used interchangeably. This distinction can be a little confusing since Morphine, Codeine and Thebaine are all pure alkaloids that bind to the Opioid receptors, but Papaverine, which is also a naturally occurring alkaloid inside the poppy pod is not an opiate because it does not act on the opioid receptors.
So Natural Opiates are Morphine, Codiene and Thebaine.
Semi-synthetic opiates (or semi-synthetic opioids) are Heroin (diamorphine), Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Dihydrocodiene, Hydromorphone, Oxymorphone, Buprenorphine, Etorphine, Naloxone and Nicomorphine.

Opioid is a blanket term used for any drug which binds to the opioid receptors in the CNS. Opioids include all of the opiates as well as any synthesized drug that attaches itself to the CNS or gastrointestinal tract opioid receptors.

Synthetic Opioids include Methadone, Pethidine (Demerol), Fentanyl, Alfentanil, Sufentanil, Remifentanil, Carfentanyl, Pentazocine, Phenazocine,
Tramadol, and Loperamide.


Effects
Opium, Opiates and Opioids all produce similar effects. At low doses they make highly effective painkillers, and at medium to high doses produce euphoria, nausea, sleepiness, “a warm fuzzy” feeling and a sense of peace. They are extremely addictive both mentally and physically and withdrawals from the drugs can be quite intense with effects including but not limited to suicidal thoughts, cold sweats, uncontrollable diarrhea, immobility, sleeplessness, abnormal body temperature and heartbeat and severe depression.



[top]Legal status of Opium

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[top]History of Opium

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Popularity of Opium over time:




[top]More Opium sections

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[top]References



Created by Alfa, 20-05-2007 at 19:25
Last edited by Sumeru, 19-10-2013 at 16:58
Last comment by Alfa on 25-02-2012 at 01:07
1 Comments, 95,126 Views

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