Effects of Opium
The duration of chemical effects of opium is about four hours. The drug produces relaxation, relief of pain and anxiety, decreased alertness, impaired coordination and serious problems with constipation.
Repeated or chronic use produces tolerance to all the effects except constipation. Continued use may result in weight loss, mental deterioration and death. Withdrawal sickness will occur if the drug is discontinued. Overdose can result in stupor, coma and death.
Being of similar structure, the opiate molecules occupy many of the same nerve-receptor sites and bring on the same analgesic effect as the body's natural painkillers. Opiates first produce a feeling of pleasure and euphoria, but with their continued use the body demands larger amounts to reach the same sense of well-being.