What Is Opium Poppy?
The opium poppy is a variety of the beautiful poppy flower. The opium poppy is used in many gardens throughout Europe and is known for its ornamental beauty. The seeds of the plant are used to extract opium, which is the base of many drugs in the opiate family such as morphine and codeine.
The name means “sleep bringing poppy," which is said to be called so because of the narcotic related properties. Opium is formed when young poppy seeds are cut, and the milky latex is released and cultivated. This latex can have as much as 12% morphine, an alkaloid from opiate, which is most commonly used to produce illegal heroin for the drug markets.
Because most opium is produced in countries such as China and the Middle East, and then turned into heroin, which is 12 times stronger than morphine it can easily be transported across borders and smuggled into countries for illegal use and sale.
The opium poppy has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, which was then known as the most potent form of pain reliever.
In recent years, the production of illegal opium production has grown at explosive rates, where the crops have been known to be as much as 10 times more profitable than wheat. The money is attractive to struggling and war-torn countries such as Afghanistan where much of opium production occurs.
Opium can be smoked, injected, or snorted while in heroin form and is a highly addictive drug. Heroin is the fastest acting and also the most abused opiate drugs. As with all drugs, extended use can lead to serious illness or death. We can help someone with heroin addiction to become drug-free.