The Impact Of Opium

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“In 2014 in the United States alone there were over 47,055 lethal drug overdoses, with 18,893 deaths related to prescription pain killers and 10,574 deaths related to heroin” (“National Opioid…”). Both prescription pain killers and the illegal drug heroin are linked by one key ingredient: opium. Opium is involved in the production of narcotics ranging from prescription medicine to illegal drugs. It has had an impact on many different points in history and on today’s world. From its impact in history and on the modern world to its legal and illegal production and uses, opium has the potential to be a very harmful drug. Opium is produced from the poppy plant species “Papaver somniferum” (“Opium Poppy”), also known as the opium poppy. To harvest opium, first a cut is made in the poppy’s pod. When cut, the pod produces a “milky fluid” (“Opium Poppy”), which is then taken to be air dried. The result of the dried fluid is raw opium. …show more content…
One point in history that widely involved opium was late 1700’s to 1800’s China. At the time, opium was not illegal in China. It was recorded that one-third of Chinese males reported smoking it on a daily basis (“Opium Addiction”). This mass addiction caused many problems for the Chinese government such as wars and political issues that completely changed the country forever. Opium also has a small place in American history. Opiates such as morphine were commonly used as a pain reliever during the Civil War. They were described as being “used extensively by Civil War surgeons as pain relievers” (Lewey 102-119). After the war, it was reported that many veterans were addicted to the morphine and opium given to them for pain relief (Lewey 102-119). These instances from history show the impact the addictive properties of opium can have. From addicted Civil War veterans to mass addiction among the population in China, opium and its products have made its terrible mark on

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