Opium

What is Opium?

Opium (poppy tears, lachryma papaveris) is the dried latex obtained from the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum). Opium latex contains approximately 12% of the analgesic alkaloid morphine, which is processed chemically to produce heroin and other synthetic opioids for medicinal use and for the illegal drug trade. The latex also contains the closely related opiates codeine and thebaine and non-analgesic alkaloids such as papaverine and noscapine. The traditional, labor-intensive method of obtaining the latex is to scratch ("score") the immature seed pods (fruits) by hand; the latex leaks out and dries to a sticky yellowish residue that is later scraped off, and dehydrated. The word "meconium" (derived from the Greek for "opium-like", but now used to refer to infant stools) historically referred to related, weaker preparations made from other parts of the opium poppy or different species of poppies.

The production of opium itself has not changed since ancient times. Through selective breeding of the Papaver somniferum plant, the content of the phenanthrene alkaloids morphine, codeine, and to a lesser extent thebaine, has been greatly increased. In modern times, much of the thebaine, which often serves as the raw material for the synthesis for hydrocodone, hydromorphone, and other semisynthetic opiates, originates from extracting Papaver orientale or Papaver bracteatum.

Opium for illegal use is often converted into heroin, which is less bulky, making it easier to smuggle, and which multiplies its potency to approximately twice that of morphine.

Questions and answers on "Opium"

HI, I am currently on Morphine and have been for about 4 years. I was wondering if there is an herbal supplement that would have a similar effect....

doctor1 MD

Hi and thanks for the query,

I am afraid there is no evidence based herbal medicine as effective and as strong as morphines. You might actually...

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MY LIVER TRANSPLANT WAS HELD ON 23.04.11. DUE TO CLD. SIX MONTH AGO DUE TO LOOSE MOTION I HAVE STARTED AGAIN TAKING OPIUM IN LITTLE QUANTITY.WITH...

doctor1 MD

Brief Answer:
Stop tramadol within a week. No other medicines.

Detailed Answer:
Hi Mr XXXXXXX

Welcome back to Healthcare Magic!

Your liver is...

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Recent questions on  Opium

doctor1 MD

MY LIVER TRANSPLANT WAS HELD ON 23.04.11. DUE TO CLD. SIX MONTH AGO DUE TO LOOSE MOTION I HAVE STARTED AGAIN TAKING OPIUM IN LITTLE QUANTITY.WITH...

doctor1 MD

HI, I am currently on Morphine and have been for about 4 years. I was wondering if there is an herbal supplement that would have a similar effect....

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