Background: Drug addiction is a major health problem for modern human communities. The earliest historical
evidence of opium use can be found in the writings of Theophrastus in the 3rd century BC. Since then, opium
use and abuse has spread to all corners of the world, specifically the Eastern countries. This study aimed to
investigate the consequences of opium use and their treatments according to Persian medicine.
Methods: In this narrative review, primary sources of Persian medicine and modern medicine databases of
PubMed, Google Scholar, PsycINFO, the American Academy of Medical Sciences, and the United Nations
Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) were searched with relevant keywords.
Findings: In Persian medicine, the Persian equivalent of the word “Opium” is “Afioon”, which refers to the
sap of “Khashkhaash” or Papaver somniferum, traditionally used as a recreational drug as well as a sedative.
Opioid use can cause social and psychological anxiety, muscle and tissue degradation, irritability, stomach
weakness, loss of skin softness, and change in facial features.
Conclusion: Opium addiction is generally harmful to the body’s faculties. The repeated use of opium,
disregarding circumstances and dosage of use and without the simultaneous use of its modifiers, can harm
the entire body and even lead to fatality.