Opium Detox And Treatment In Ontario
Opium is a central nervous system depressant and slows down the messages that are sent between the brain and body. Opium is obtained from the poppy plant and is a milky substance called latex, which is then manufactured into a brown powder called resin. The primary alkaloid of opium is morphine, which is the precursor in many of the pain medications prescribed within Canada. Opium is a sticky dark-brown powder and is also manufactured into a liquid, powder, or solid resin. The most common way to use opium is to smoke the drug, but it can also be injected or brewed to make tea. There are inherent risks with using opium, just like any other opiate. The risk of overdose is high, especially when the drug is mixed with other substances. Intravenous use has the risk of contracting disease through the exchange of dirty needles. Opiates affect the functioning of the brain and spinal cord and the potency of opium is difficult to measure.
Opium has a history in Canada, and during the early to mid-1800s, opium was introduced by Chinese workers coming to British Columbia. The use of narcotics, opiates, alcohol, and tobacco went unregulated up until 1908 when the Opium Act was established. This act made it an offense to import, manufacture, possess, and sell opium in Canada. During the 19th century in Toronto, Ontario, there was always a sneaking suspicion there were opium dens within the city. During this time in many of the neighborhoods where these dens were located, residents denied they existed, but were located by journalists and a reformed opium addict. Up until 1908, opium was legal in Canada but considered a shameful thing to take part in. Before and after the Opium Act was set into law, the Chinese community in Toronto was blamed by much of the general public, which is where part of the intolerance and racism towards Chinese workers started.
Along with British Columbia, the province of Ontario was one of the hardest-hit provinces impacted by the opioid epidemic. Prescription pain medication has been a long-standing issue within the province with issues in the 1990s when OxyContin was prevalent across the province and in the 2000s with fentanyl. Struggling with an addiction to opioids is not easy, and most addicts struggle to become sober without proper help. The first step when treating opiate addiction is withdrawal management or medical detox. This process helps an opioid user safely stop using the drug and can then transition into a residential drug rehab center. Long-term treatment and aftercare is the most successful approach used when treating opiate addiction. Aftercare and staying connected to peer support groups are crucial to maintain sobriety after drug rehab.