The Discovery Of Psychoactive Drugs During The 19th Century Essay
Laissez-faire is a French word which means to leave alone or to allow to do. During the 19th-century Americas attitude towards the use of drugs was described as laissez-faire. The word laissez-faire was used because, at the time, the regulations and control of drugs were minimal. Therefore, there was an unrestricted sale, distribution and promotion of narcotics in the U.S which led to the extensive and uncontrolled use of medicinal and recreational drugs during that century. The U.S became a ‘dope fiend’s paradise’ because a quarter of its population had developed a dependency on either opium or morphine.
The discovery of psychoactive drugs during the early times arose from people’s curiosity. Plants that had hallucination effects grew almost everywhere, for instance, poppy plants a source of opium grew on the open fields over extensive areas and cannabis plants, the source of marijuana, also grew all over the place. Human beings used to observe the strange behavior of animals as they fed on these plants, and this stirred their curiosity. People eventually discovered that certain plants produced hallucinations that gave them visions and made them feel like they had visited a different world.
The discovery became the basis of the philosophy and practice of healing commonly known as shamanism that took place in the 19th – century. Those with knowledge about plants with therapeutic powers acquired supremacy over the others in the community. Shamanism was…