Category Archives: Opium


Opium Podcasts Parts 1 & 2

Opium is a drug that has been highly influential today and in past societies. Present issues revolving around the drug include addiction and war. One war that is being fought today takes place in the Middle East, specifically Afghanistan. The war surrounds the drug and its growth and the devastation that is caused by its citizen’s addiction. With many fights surrounding opium and mass addiction to the drug it is seen as a serious issue today. The podcasts presented on this page talk about the drug’s history and the past Opium Wars. One of the following podcasts will focus on the history of opium around the world taking a closer look at opium within Britain, China, India and Afghanistan. In this podcast we look at how opium is grown and harvested and why it became popular in so many different countries.  Our next podcast will discuss in depth the Opium Wars that ensued against China and Britain. The multiple wars fought between Britain and China were based off the trade of opium between the two countries. China did not want the drug to be a part of its country’s culture because of the harmful side effects implemented on its people. The British on the other hand needed to use opium when trading with China because China was not interested in the other commodities that Britain had to offer. In order to see how opium has changed society tune in to the following podcasts to explore the world according to opium.

Amber Mehr, Tanner Taylor, Hannah DeYoung


Booth, Martin. Opium: a History. 1st U.S. ed. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998.

Brown, John. “The Opium Wars.” Military History 21, no. 1 (April 2004): 34–42.

Hodgson, Barbara. Opium: a Portrait of the Heavenly Demon. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 1999.

Smith, Jeremy N. “The First Trade Deficit with China.” World Trade 19, no. 12 (December 2006): 74.

Vassilev, Rossen. “China’s Opium Wars: Britain as the World’s First Narco-State.” New Politics 13, no. 1 (Summer 2010): 75.


Opium Podcasts Parts 1 & 2

Opium is a dark paradise, and is a dark dream of reality. Since its discovery in the Eastern Mediterranean opium has exerted its power over people: destroying lives, and causing wars. In its early history, however, it was associated with socialization and wealth, and was used by upper-class ladies in Britain. However, soon after, opium became allied with the poor and unhealthy. Later in this substance’s history, Britain, China, and Afghanistan become negatively impacted—doped due to the abuse of the drug. It has transformed into several different substances—heroin, morphine, hydrocodone (or vicodin)-readily available, and used by countless people around the world.

Unfortunately today, many people still face the problems of addiction to opium. It does not take long for opium, and its many different variations to attract, and take hold of the lives of a great number of people.  It is a painkiller, used as a sort of cure-all for aches and pains. It is also used simply for the euphoric, happy feeling, while on the drug. Opium affects the brain’s neurotransmitter, dopamine, which is the body’s natural painkiller. It is also an endorphin, which in the body makes people feel better, and results in the euphoric feeling that is received when the drug is taken. Because of these effects on the body, opium has been one of the most addictive and habit forming drugs of all time. This causing opium to be a number one destroyer of people’s lives all over the world.

Haley Leissring, Brianna Karlen, Claire Amici



Courtwright, David T. Dark Paradise: Opiate Addiction in America Before 1940. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1982.

Kreutzmann, Hermann. “Afghanistan and the Opium World Market: Poppy Production and Trade.” Iranian Studies 40, no. 5 (December 2007): 605–621.

Lindesmith, Alfred Ray. Opiate Addiction. Evanston: Principia Press of Illinois, 1957.

Newsinger, John. “Britain’s Opium Wars.” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine 49, no. 5 (October 1997): 35.

Paulès, Xavier. “Anti-Opium Visual Propaganda and the Deglamorisation of Opium in China, 1895–1937.” European Journal of East Asian Studies 7, no. 2 (September 2008): 229–262.