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Opium

O, junk, dragon, tar

Alcoholic Drinks

Common names

O, junk, dragon, tar.

Generic name

Opiate.

Scientific name

Opium.

Action

Central nervous system depressant, analgesic.

Drug form

Raw opium is a black, sticky, tar-like substance.

Drug effects

Desired:

Initial stimulation, enhanced imagination, euphoria, relaxation, decreased anxiety, sleep.

Side-effects:

Nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, decreased heart-rate, shallow breathing.

Medical use

Occasionally used as an analgesic but very rare nowadays.

Risks

Short-term:

Tolerance.

Long-term:

Dependence, lack of physical care, constipation.

Legal status

Class A under the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1971. Related offences include allowing your premises to be used for the consumption of opium and being in possession of implements used in the preparation and consumption of opium.

How is it taken?

Usually smoked in a pipe, with nothing added, but like heroin it can be heated on tinfoil and the fumes inhaled - so-called chasing the dragon. It can also be eaten or brewed into a tea and drunk.

Paraphernalia

Opium pipe, tinfoil, matches or lighter.

Images

Where does it come from?

The earliest record of opium was 6,000 years ago. It is derived from the poppy, papaver somniferum, which grows in many parts of the world (including Britain).

The main centres of illicit production include the border regions of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan - known as the \P\K3.map\k'Golden Crescent'\p - around the borders of Thailand, Burma and Laos - known as the \P\K3.map\k'Golden Triangle'\p and parts of the Indian sub-continent.
Codeine, morphine and heroin are refined from raw opium. It is rarely seen in Britain nowadays

Helping services

There are a handful of older opium dependent drug users being seen by drug dependency clinics.