Opium and Opioids

By Isabelle Haeberly and Kelly Frier

What is Opium?

Opium is a drug made from the milk of the opium poppy. It's an extremely addictive opiate that is swallowed or smoked.

These drugs can be swallowed, smoked, snorted, or injected

Street Names

  • big O

  • black stuff

  • black

  • gum

  • hop

Effects and Dangers

When taken in correct amounts for a painkiller, opium and other opiates like morphine are okay. But when they are even overdosed once, they can cause severe damage to your body such as...

    • constipation

    • endocarditis

    • hepatitis

    • HIV

    • addiction

    • fatal overdose

    • euphoria

    • drowsiness

    • impaired coordination

    • dizziness

    • confusion

    • nausea

    • sedation

    • feeling of heaviness in the body

    • slowed or arrested breathing

Withdrawal Symptoms


-muscle and bone pain




-cold flashes (with goose bumps)

-involuntary leg movements


  • "In 2007, 93% of the world’s opium supply came from Afghanistan. (Opium is the raw material for heroin supply.) Its total export value was about $4 billion, of which almost three quarters went to traffickers. About a quarter went to Afghan opium farmers.(drugfreeworld.com)"
  • "An estimated 13.5 million people in the world take opioids (opium-like substances), including 9.2 million who use heroin. (drugfreeworld.com)"
  • "Opiates make up 83 percent of admissions for intravenous drug addictions. (rehab-international.org/)"
  • "Worldwide opium production has doubled since the mid-1980s, resulting in greater heroin availability, rising purity, and lower prices.(www.cia.gov/)"
  • "Most modern pain relievers are opiates or come from the poppy.(www.drug-addiction-support.org/)"


If you ever have to take a painkiller, make sure that you only take the exact amount you were prescribed. Just because a doctor gives it to you, it doesn't mean it's safe.


What should I do if I hear about kids in my school using drugs?

You should tell a trusted adult, and find a safe solution.

What is the difference between legal medicine and illegal drugs?

Legal medicines are safe if you use them right proportion. Illegal drugs are illegal for a reason. The effects of illegal drugs can not only harm your actions, and long term health, but they could also hurt other people.