Opium Detox And Treatment In Quebec
Opium is extracted from the poppy plant as a milky exudate called latex, which is then air-dried and manufactured into a brown powder or resin. The latex contains active chemicals such as morphine, which is now the precursor in many pain medications, and was also used to create heroin by the second half of the 19th century. Opium is a sticky dark brown gum with a strong odor and is also manufactured into a liquid, powder, or solid resin. The most common way to use opium is smoking it; however, the drug can also be injected or brewed to make tea. The first evidence of poppy culture dates back five thousand years and opium was used as a sedative and hypnotic. There are two main groups of alkaloid in opium, which are the psychoactive constituents and alkaloid that have no central nervous system effect. Morphine is the most prevalent and principal alkaloid in opium.
In 1905 in Montreal, police raids took place in opium dens, and during the 19th century, the use of this drug was widespread and popular across Canada. Like many other parts of Canada, there was racism and intolerance towards the Chinese. Police and society often took the idea that harms attributed to drugs had a foreign origin, such as with the Chinese. Until 1908 in Canada narcotics, opiates, alcohol, and tobacco were unregulated. When Chinese immigrants started to come to Canada during the early to mid-1800s, opium dens were established in some isolated communities. More notably, within Vancouver, Victoria, and New Westminster and other parts of British Columbia. The government considered the Chinese as cheap labor and opium as another way to gain revenue, and taxes were imposed on opium factories. In 1908 the Opium Act was established making the sale, manufacturing, and use of opium illegal.
Across Quebec the opioid epidemic has affected residents and families resulting in countless opioid-related overdose deaths. As of 2019, the number of pain medication prescriptions within the province has declined; however, drugs such as heroin have become more prevalent. Cities such as Montreal have a long history of battling the social and economic problems connected to heroin. Treating an addiction to opiates starts with a medical detox or withdrawal management. The detox process is crucial to ensure a drug user can safely stop taking the drugs they are abusing. Following detox, the most successful treatment approach is within a long-term residential program. There is a high rate of overdose attached to opiate addiction. Most addicts make more than one attempt at treatment before they become sober. Aftercare treatment is also crucial and will ensure a recovering addict can maintain his or her sobriety. This is done effectively with sober living homes and peer support groups that operate across the province.