Author Topic: drug addiction in 1800s  (Read 3856 times)

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Offline H.H. Buggfuzz

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drug addiction in 1800s
« on: February 10, 2007, 01:28:24 PM »
The greatest period of opiate addiction in history occured from 1865 thru the early 1900s. This due to the great number of maimed soldiers from the Civil war. The only readily available pain medications were Laudnum(Tincture of Opium) and Morphine. At that time no prescription was required and they could be purchased at any drug store.  Additionally many patent medications called "Cordials" contained morphine. Not until the Harrison Narcotic Act of 1914 were the sales of these products restricted.
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Re: drug addiction in 1800s
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2007, 05:24:39 PM »
I recorded a show from the History Channel which discussed the rise in cocaine use since the early 20th Century or perhaps the late 19th Century.  It's interesting to learn how these drugs gained popularity at different points.  I do realize that opium appeared to be socially-acceptable at one point as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle tells of of Sherlock Holmes taking the drug (I believe this takes place ~1885).
"Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses" ~Juvenal

Offline Stumpfoot

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Re: drug addiction in 1800s
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2007, 03:23:46 AM »
I recorded a show from the History Channel which discussed the rise in cocaine use since the early 20th Century or perhaps the late 19th Century.  It's interesting to learn how these drugs gained popularity at different points.  I do realize that opium appeared to be socially-acceptable at one point as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle tells of of Sherlock Holmes taking the drug (I believe this takes place ~1885).

I dont know how acceptable it was. If you remember Dr. Watson would crtizize him severly for the habit.
History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time. It illumines reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity - Cicero

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Re: drug addiction in 1800s
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2007, 12:31:00 AM »
Actually I've been watching the program again recently and it discusses Sherlock Holmes and his use - get this - of cocaine!  According to the History Channel show (~"Illegal drugs and how they got that way: Cocaine") cocaine was developed around the 1860s and was initially used as a pick-me-upper in a variety of things such as wine and Coca Cola.  From what I understand it was considered to be a hyper-equivalent of a cup of coffee, though it had some big side effects. 

The show goes into how the drug was brought down and made illegal.  It had been given to black dock workers to help them avoid fatigue, but eventually the general fear became that it made blacks more aggressive toward white women.  Apparently this was the last draw and the crack down began (I believe in the 19-teens).  Rather a sad story of race relations in the U.S., and also sad that a drug which was used on a race to keep them working longer ended up capturing many with addiction in the decades since.
"Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses" ~Juvenal