Opium, derived from the sap of the opium poppy plant, Papaver somniferum, has been used historically for its pain-relieving properties but also carries a high risk of addiction due to its euphoric effects. A primary source of narcotics like morphine, codeine and heroin, opium is cultivated from the milky fluid of unripe poppy seedpods and is available in various forms, including liquid, solid and powder. Its use dates back to as early as 5000 B.C. in the Mediterranean and it has been a significant trade commodity since the 7th century CE.

Opium trading, notably expanded by the Mughals and later by European colonial powers, led to widespread addiction, culminating in the Opium Wars in the 18th century. The 19th century saw a growing awareness of opium’s harmful effects, spurring an anti-opium movement and international legislative efforts to control its cultivation, distribution and consumption.

Opium’s effects on the mind and body include euphoria, relaxation, pain relief, constipation, dry mouth and risks of physical and psychological dependence, leading to a potential for overdose. Street names for opium include Ah-pen-yen, Aunti Emma, Big O and Chandoo, among others. Misuse often results in severe withdrawal symptoms, posing challenges in overcoming addiction without professional help.

In the addiction recovery community, terms like “opiate dependence” and “opiate use disorder” are commonly used to describe opium addiction or dependence on synthetic derivatives like heroin or prescription painkillers. Treatment approaches for opium addiction have evolved, incorporating detoxification, therapy and support groups, reflecting advances in addiction medicine and a better understanding of addiction’s underlying causes. These developments have led to more effective treatments and improved recovery outcomes for those seeking help.

    Addiction & Mental Health

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    Founded in 2008, WeDoRecover has evolved from an advisory service for addiction treatment into a comprehensive provider of care, following its 2019 merger with Changes Addiction Rehab in Johannesburg. Specialising in connecting patients to top-tier addiction treatment centers in the UK, South Africa and Thailand, WeDoRecover supports individuals globally, including those from the United Arab Emirates and Europe. Accepting both South African medical aid and international health insurance our organisation facilitates access to high-quality treatment for substance and alcohol use disorders, offering individualised care that addresses the physical, mental and social needs of patients.

    Our team, led by Gareth Carter, offers empathetic and professional support, guiding you through every step of the treatment process. Whether you're in South Africa or abroad, our acceptance of various insurance plans makes quality care accessible, providing a platform for lasting recovery and a healthier future.

    Inpatient Rehab

    Rehab care is a good option if you are at risk of experiencing strong withdrawal symptoms when you try stop a substance. This option would also be recommended if you have experienced recurrent relapses or if you have tried a less-intensive treatment without success.


    If you're committed to your sobriety but cannot take a break from your daily duties for an inpatient program. Outpatient rehab treatment might suit you well if you are looking for a less restricted format for addiction treatment or simply need help with mental health.


    Therapy can be good step towards healing and self-discovery. If you need support without disrupting your routine, therapy offers a flexible solution for anyone wishing to enhance their mental well-being or work through personal issues in a supportive, confidential environment.

    Mental Health

    Are you having persistent feelings of being swamped, sad or have sudden surges of anger or intense emotional outbursts? These are warning signs of unresolved trauma mental health. A simple assesment by a mental health expert could provide valuable insights into your recovery.

    Finding the right rehab close to you is simple with WeDoRecover. Our network includes the finest rehab centers, ensuring personalised, quality care for your recovery needs. Let Gareth Carter and our empathetic team help guide you to a center that feels right for you, offering expert care and support. Start your healing today by choosing a rehab that's not just close to you, but also that truly cares about your loved ones recovery.

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