Opium

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

 

IMPORTANT SOURCES

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.