Laudanum was a favorite beverage in the 1800’s consisting of alcohol and 10% opium (the equivalent of 1% morphine). The laudanum drug was very widespread in the Victorian era and recommended for almost everything from menstrual cramps to tuberculosis as a pain relief. In that time, it was available simply over the counter. It became more popular within the lower class due to it being way less expensive than any painkiller available and was certainly the strongest. It was even used for infants to help soothe teething pains. It wasn’t until later that it was noticed that it was very habit forming and eventually took greater and greater doses to provide pain relief due to the high tolerance that was easily created by use. Few people today are aware of the utilization of this substance. Therefore, this Laudanum 101 will provide some basic information.
Laudanum is now strictly regulated due to it being a highly potent narcotic because of the presence of morphine in the mixture. It is currently used as a potent anti-diarrheal medicine or prescribed to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms in newborns to opiate dependent mothers. Because morphine is the most important ingredient, it has a high potential for tolerance and physical dependence/addiction associated with its continued ingestion.
Main Uses for the Laudanum Drug
Although there were many other reasons for using Laudanum, the most common are:
- Neonatal abstinence syndrome
When taking the laudanum drug, it is imperative to take prescribed dosage carefully using an oral syringe or calibrated dropper.
Side effects of laudanum are the same as with morphine and include:
- Respiratory depression
- Psychological dependence
- Physical dependence
- Dilated pupils
- Dry mouth
Are you unsure that you or even a loved one have created an addiction to laudanum? Having an addiction can affect your life in many ways. Once you have developed an addiction, it ‘s hard to just stop and continue. Before knowing what laudanum overdose symptoms are, identifying the early signs of addiction is of paramount importance.
Evidence of Laudanum Addiction
The initial signs of laudanum addiction include:
- Larger amounts are needed to relieve pain
- Taking laudanum to relieve stress
- Feeling sick if you’re not able to take laudanum for a long time
- People express concern about your laudanum intake
Along with any substance, overdose is a high possibility with laudanum and very dangerous. A life-threatening overdose of opium tincture owes to the preparation’s morphine content. Morphine produces a dose-dependent depressive effect on the respiratory system, which can lead to profound respiratory depression, hypoxia, coma and finally respiratory arrest and death.
If you or a loved one have a laudanum drug addiction, or if you are unsure do not hesitate to call for help and answers today.