• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

In the pharmaceutical industry, opium is derived from a natural substance extracted from the poppy plant and serves as the raw element for painkillers such as morphine and codeine. The illegal drug heroin, also a derivative of opium, is possibly the most addictive drug in the opiates family.

Opium has been the subject of popular fascination for centuries. Two reasons might explain this phenomenon: First, opium and heroin create a fast and strong addiction in their users, and second, images of opium have been much used by European artists and writers in the last two centuries in their representations of an exotic Far East. Literary representations include Thomas De Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium Eater (1821), Jean Cocteau's Opium (1928), and even an illustrated book ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles