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Opiates Notes.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
Psychology 2020A/B
Professor
Riley Hinson

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OPIATES - Opiates are termed narcotics from the Greek word narke meaning numbness, sleep, or stupor - Naturally occurring opiates are alkaloids of the poppy plant Papaver Somniferum (the poppy that brings sleep) o Annual plant, 3-4 ft in height, large 4-5 inch flowers in red, pink, white, and purple o Poppy seeds come from the same plant o Garden varieties of the poppy plant do not contain psychoactive substances - Opiates have been used as analgesics for centuries - Principle form of opiates for many centuries was opium [before chemists began changing the form] o Unrefined, gummy, brown residue that is collected from the opium poppy seed capsule o Smoked, or brown residue would be dried and mixed into teas or tinctures - Evidence of medical use of opium 4,000 years ago in Assyrian/Babylonian cultures - Ebers Papyrus (1300 BC) mentions remedy containing opium to prevent excessive crying in children - Evidence of opium smoking pipes 1,000-300 BC - Scrapping/collecting process involved in production of opium 700 BC - Poppies on Cyprian vases 100 BC - Use spread from the Middle East to Europe as a result of the Crusades (11 & 12 c.) - 1520: Parcelsus introduced laudanum as a medicinal drink containing opium, wine, and other spices - 1680: Thomas Sydenham introduced Sydenhams Laudanum - Although opium consumption is commonly associated with China, this association is from some time in the 18 c., and is mainly the result of British influence - Opium smoking is also called chasing the dragon does not seem to have been extreme until the British started using opium as a form of payment for Chinese tea o 1840s: The Opium Wars o China lost had to surrender Hong Kong, grant exclusive trading rights to British merchants, and accept opium as payment for goods o 1860: China was forced to legalize opium within its borders - 1803: Serturner isolated the principle active ingredient in opium and named it morphium [after the Greek god of dreams, Morpheus] o Term eventually evolved into morphine - Use of morphine as an analgesic improved in 1856 with the development of the syringe and hollow needle - First widespread incidence of opiate addiction = extensive use of morphine pills and syrup during the American Civil War o Became known as the soldiers disease o Also widespread use of injected morphine during the Franco- Prussian war of 1870 - Euphoric properties of opium popularized in Europe by books and poems - Consumption was almost exclusively in the form of drinking an opium tonic Smoking was considered an undesirable method - 1800s: laudanum and other patent medicines were widespread in the US - Estimated that over 50,000 patent medicines contained a narcotic by early 1900s o Drinking of patent medicines became common among women and children o Godfreys Cordial, A Pennysworth of Peace, Mrs. Winslows Soothing Syrup o Typical user white, middle to upper class female, 30-50 years old o Female users outnumbered male users as much as 3 to 1 o Many anti-alcohol crusaders were regular users of opium- containing patent medicines o Late 1800s: 250,000-750,000 opiate dependent people in the US o Now: 600,000 [but the population is 4x what it was in the 1800s] - Cultivation of opium poppies was not outlawed until 1942 - In late 1800s and early 1900s, sentiment against opium was mainly directed towards opium smoking, while it was mostly being drunk at the time - Due to economic reasons and racial prejudice, sentiment turned against opium in general - (US) Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914 did not outlaw opiate use; simply required that physicians prescribing opiates keep detailed records and pay a small fee - Courts (pressured by Harry Anslinger) ruled that opiate addiction was not a medical condition, and doctors could not prescribe opiates just to ward off withdrawal - 1907: visit by anti-Chinese crusader set off full-scale riot in Vancouver o Mackenzie King dispatched to investigate o He was approached by several Chinese businessmen seeking compensation for damage to their opium importing and manufacturing business o Existence of such enterprises surprised King Introduced a report suggesting that the opium trade be banned o 3 main reasons for this ban: Trade violated Christian beliefs. Chinese were making huge profits in the trade. Use was increasing among Caucasian men and women. o King failed to include any discussion of harmful physical effects, and provided no medical evidence that opium smoking was harmful - Kings report eventually led to the passage of the first drug legislation in Canada 1908 Opium Act o Made it illegal to import, manufacture, or sell opium for non- medical purposes o Possession or use was not made illegal - 1911 Opium Act o Made possession a crime o Expanded police powers of search and seizure o Made cocaine an illegal substance - 1920s ushered in a period of intense moral crusading against drug use
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