Download e-book for kindle: Alcohol and Opium in the Old West: Use, Abuse and Influence by Jeremy Agnew

By Jeremy Agnew

ISBN-10: 078647629X

ISBN-13: 9780786476299

This publication explores the function and impact of drink and medication (primarily opium) within the previous West, which for this e-book is taken into account to be the US west of the Mississippi from the California gold rush of the 1840s to the remaining of the Western Frontier in approximately 1900. this era was once the 1st time in American historical past that heavy consuming and drug abuse turned an immense social main issue. ingesting was once thought of to be an authorised pursuit for males on the time. Smoking opium used to be thought of to be deviant and linked to teams at the fringes of mainstream society, yet opium use and dependancy via ladies was once normal. This ebook provides the history of either elements and the way their use unfold around the West, before everything for medicinal purposes--but how overuse and abuse ended in the Temperance stream and finally to nationwide Prohibition. This ebook reviews the ancient fact of alcohol and opium use within the outdated West with out bias.

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Extra info for Alcohol and Opium in the Old West: Use, Abuse and Influence

Sample text

Raw opium is dried sap that is collected from the unripe seed capsules of the poppy Papaver somniferum. The name “opium” comes either from the Greek word opion, which means “poppy juice,” or from the Greek opos, which means “vegetable juice” and describes the hardened, dried juice of the poppy. This juice contains a collection of substances that are used as drugs. These chemicals are called alkaloids, which is the name for a group of complex organic compounds that are derived from plants. One characteristic of an alkaloid is that it turns litmus paper blue, which is a characteristic of an alkaline chemical substance and which gave rise to the name.

Distilling was also known to the ancient Egyptians and to Arabian scientists though, ironically, Arabs were prohibited from drinking fermented beverages and distilled alcohol for religious reasons. The process was refined in Europe and was commonly used in the eleventh century, then became widespread by the 1400s and 1500s. Spirits were initially distilled for medicinal use before drinking them expanded to recreational use. After distillation and concentration, the resulting alcohol was flavored with various herbs and spices, including sage, lavender, angelica, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, to disguise the taste of the raw alcohol.

By the sixteenth century, the use of opium had become well established in western European medicine. Opium had become an essential commodity in Europe, and opium use increased across Europe and Asia. It was freely available on the flimsiest of medical advice and by the 1800s the use of opium 42 Alcohol and Opium in the Old West was widespread for pain, coughs, and diarrhea, and was sold by pharmacies, as well as shoemakers, tailors, and grocery stores. It was combined with liquor and sold in bars.

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Alcohol and Opium in the Old West: Use, Abuse and Influence by Jeremy Agnew

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