The making of addiction : the 'use and abuse' of opium in by Louise Foxcroft

By Louise Foxcroft

What does drug dependancy suggest to us? What did it suggest to others some time past? and the way are those meanings attached? In smooth society the assumption of drug habit is a given and generally understood inspiration, but this was once now not continually the case some time past. This publication uncovers the unique affects that formed the production and a number of the interpretations of dependancy as a affliction, and of habit to opiates particularly. It delves into the remedies, regimes, and prejudices that surrounded the , a newly rising pathological entity and a sort of 'moral madness' throughout the 19th century. The resource fabric for this booklet is wealthy and impressive. Letters and diaries give you the so much relocating fabric, detailing own struggles with dependancy and the pains of these who cared and despaired. Confessions of disgrace, deceit, distress and terror sit down along these of deep sensual excitement, visionary manifestations and completely satisfied freedom from care. The reader can stick to the lifelong opium careers of literary figures, artists and politicians, glimpse a uncooked underworld of hidden drug use, or see the bleakness of city and rural poverty alleviated through day-by-day doses of opium. Delving into diaries, letters and confessions this publication exposes the scientific case histories and the physician's mad, lazy, advertisement, contemptuous, determined, altruistic and pissed off makes an attempt to house drug dependancy. It demonstrates that a number of the stigmatising prejudices arose from fake 'facts' and semi-mythical ideals and hence has major implications, not just for the background of habit, but additionally for a way we view the situation this present day.

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J. 175. 149. 356. 82 See chapter 7. 83 A. 1, 3, 34. 179, 181. ’ And the worst was, he wrote, that: in exact proportion to the importance and urgency of any Duty was it, as of a fatal necessity, sure to be neglected: because it added to the Terror ... In exact proportion, as I loved any person or persons more than others, & would have sacrificed my Life for them, were they sure to be the most barbarously mistreated by silence, absence, or breach of promise … I have in this one dirty business of Laudanum an hundred times deceived, tricked, nay actively & consciously LIED.

Lie thou long, Wasted and languid on the late-sought couch. And when the hour inert grows too oppressive, Slowly arise enervate, and with hand That trembling does its office, faintly reach Th’ infernal poppy’s black and baleful juice. 11 Many addicts underwent great tribulations suffering from the oppressive enervation of a life devoted to opium. 12 The chronic illnesses that Scott suffered had, by 1819, reduced him to ‘the very image of Death … lanthorn-jawed, decayed in flesh, stooping’, and his distress and agony eventually lead him into addiction.

Porter, ‘Medicine’, in McCalman, Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age, A. iv. 26 Unmistakable honesty is discernible throughout his confessions. He was unafraid to tell it as he experienced it; he did not spare his readers either the pleasures or the pains of his addiction, nor the uplifting or degrading sensations. He saw no conflict in his contradictory experiences for they were the paradoxical results of his selfexploration. But his work did not escape criticism, and much of that was based on moral issues rather than on a denial of his literary skill or the veracity of his experiences.

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