A study published in British Medical Journal reveals effects of opium. Individuals who use opium for long periods of time are twice as likely to die from several major causes including cancer, circulatory diseases and respiratory conditions.

Opium consumption is extremely common. Approximately 20 million individuals worldwide use opium or its derivatives. This study is the first to measure the risks of mortality in opium users vs.non-users.

Pervious researches indicate that opium may play a role in coronary heart disease, throat cancer, bladder cancer and other conditions. However, researchers are unsure about the effects opium has on overall mortality.

Researchers examine the association between opium use and subsequent risk of death. They studied opium use among 50,045 adults, aged 40 to 75, for an average of 5 years.

17% study participants reported using opium. During the study period 2,145 deaths were reported. Opium users were 86% more likely to die from several major causes. Causes were Asthma, Circulatory diseases, Tuberculosis and Cancer.

Thus researchers estimate that approximately 15% of all deaths in this population are due to opium use.

By Ammara Hashmi