by Francis Moraes, PhD
Opium is not a drug. Itís a myth! On the one hand opium is romantic and mysterious. It has been called "Godís own medicine" and many powerful painkillers are derived from opium. On the other hand, opium can set off hysteria and fears that one whiff will lead to debilitating addiction, ruining the victimís life.
Opium conjures up images of wasted characters sucking on long skinny pipes in smoked filled opium dens located in a back alley. Opium "dreams" can be extraordinarily sensual with rich imagery, leaving one feeling contentedóeven blissful. There is also a sense of detachment. Miserable tasks become bearable, even enjoyableówhich was the secret behind the Chinese laborersí use when building the railroads in the late 1980s.
Opium is not one drug, but many. The constituents of opium can vary widely from sample to sample making it hard to come to a holistic understanding. While opium can cause severe nausea and vomiting, especially if one moves around, it is one of the most powerful analgesics Nature has to offer. Much of opiumís therapeutic power stems from its ability to improve oneís mood. Happy people are better able to manage pain. But herein lies its danger. Opium users grow to love it so much that they can be overpowered by its powerful addicting power.
A fascinating discourse, beginning with the history of early use, covering opiumís effects along with its complicated chemical structure and numerous derivatives. Includes information on growing, harvesting and using opium, along with its legal status.
141 pages 8 1/2" x 5 1/2"