Download E-books Opium (Drugs: The Straight Facts) PDF

By Thomas Santella

Tracing the lengthy and sometimes risky tale of this historic drug, Opium interweaves strands of technology, heritage, and pop culture, revealing what opium is, the way it works, the way it is used, and the way it impacts the physique. From mechanical cultivators that extract the milky juice of the opium poppy, to the various criminal opium-derived pharmaceutical items used all over the world, to the lethal results of heroin use, the numerous elements of the Papaver somniferum spread. writer Thomas M. Santella additionally examines present teenage developments and attitudes towards the drug, besides the criminal ramifications of its use. full of full-color images, illustrations, fact-filled sidebars, a precious word list, and extra, Opium is a well-grounded creation to the robust drug that has either aided and stricken humanity when you consider that ahead of recorded background.

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Eventually, in 1874, British scientist C. R. Wright synthesized heroin (also often called diacetylmorphine) through boiling morphine with acetic acid. Wright couldn't have discovered that heroin might turn into the 20th century’s such a lot deadly and common narcotic. within the 19th century, the efficiency and use of opium elevated throughout Europe and Asia, and its deadly grab started to take root in the US. In 1840, 24,000 kilos of opium have been exported to New England, leading to the government’s taxa-tion of the product (opium was once no longer but unlawful in America). via the overdue 1800s, opium use in the USA was once overtaken via the stronger strength of heroin. initially used as a therapy for morphine dependancy, heroin posed an equivalent, if now not considerably better, strength for habit. accordingly, the temperance move within the usa. within the early 20th century resulted in elevated laws to slash using opium and its derivatives. In 1905, the U. S. Congress banned the sale of opium, and the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1917 required sufferers to obtain prescriptions for possibly destructive medicinal drugs. via 1923, such a lot narcotic elements, together with heroin and morphine, have been banned from over the counter sale. a short background of Opium 15 yet those rules weren't winning in taking away the abuse of opium and its derivatives. international conflicts and altering buying and selling venues led to ups and downs within the intake of opium around the globe, yet opium (primarily within the type of heroin) remains to be a big alternate commodity with revenues within the billions of greenbacks in step with yr. thousands, might be hundreds of thousands, of addicts around the globe proceed to conflict the unrelenting energy of heroin to at the present time. 2 Opium: From Poppy Plant to Heroin THE POPPY PLANT The opium poppy, or Papaver somniferum, is only one of greater than a hundred assorted poppy plant species that develop either within the wild and in cultivated settings world wide. whereas P. somniferum is one of the diverse poppies, it really is considered one of purely species that produce morphine (the lively factor in opium) and the one one actively cultivated to supply the drug. there's nice debate as to why the opium poppy produces the alkaloids that it does (see “The lively components in Opium” box). What goal does it serve? a few specialists think that those chemical substances are created through the plant as a kind of safeguard opposed to animal predators. Others retain that the alkaloids are crucial within the construction of the vegetation seeds. a 3rd and extremely interesting concept holds that the excessive focus of morphine and different alkaloids in P. somniferum is a made of its response to human cultivation. In different phrases, as people more and more planted the opium poppy for its medicinal and narcotic features, they evidently exact the crops with the top concentrations of morphine. profitable cultivators have been people with the main vegetation containing the top degrees of narcotic. therefore, over hundreds of thousands of years of choosing the main powerful vegetation, people have advanced the opium poppy to their very own wishes.

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