Opium Detox And Treatment In British Columbia
Opium is one of the oldest central nervous system depressants, slowing down how messages travel between the brain and body. Opium is derived from the poppy and is one of the oldest plants in recorded history going back 5000 years. Opium is extracted from poppies creating a sticky brown resin that contains two main alkaloid . There are the psychoactive constituents and alkaloid that have no central nervous system effect. Morphine is the principal alkaloid in opium and is responsible for most of the harmful effects. Opium is a sticky dark-brown gum with a strong odor, and it can be manufactured into a liquid, powder, or solid resin.
Every year in British Columbia, people die from an opioid-related overdose, whether it involves heroin, prescription pain medication, or illegal non-pharmaceutical pain medication. During the latter part of the 1800s Chinese workers brought opium with them when coming to build to the railways. At the time, the substance was legal in Vancouver, Victoria, and New Westminster. Within these cities were opium smoking establishments during the mid-1800s. For the next 40 to 50 years, opium was tolerated within the cities. However, during the early 1900s things began to change and eventually, the Opium Act was established banning opium from being imported, manufactured and sold in Canada for non-medical purposes.
The opioid problems have plagued British Columbia throughout the 1900s and the 2000s. Morphine has been the precursor in countless pain medications, such as methadone, fentanyl, codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and hydromorphone. Opium is commonly smoked, but can also be injected, swallowed or drunk. Like any other type of opioid, the risk of overdose is high when the drug is consumed. Across the province of British Columbia are numerous drug and alcohol treatment programs, detox services, and withdrawal management centers to help people who are addicted to opioids. The first step is medical detox to manage the withdrawal pain. Following detox, patients must transfer to either lengthy residential or outpatient treatment.