Tuesday, April 17, 2012
O is for Drugs
Did you know that during the late (12-1400’s) medieval period in europe physicians not only had access, but used opiates to alleviate pain, and other such things. It’s fascinating to me that they had this medical knowledge because that time period is typically perceived as backwards. I mean, when you think of medieval medicine typically imagines of leeches and bleeding comes to mind, and your not wrong, there was plenty of that too.
Opium, opiates and other drugs that come from the poppy plant have a great many uses, including alleviation from diarrhea, a cough suppressant and perhaps most notably a pain suppressant. I’m not going to attempt to explain how opium works, cause I haven’t the slightest. What I can tell you is that one of the many things it does is produce a feeling of euphoria.
That euphoric feeling is what makes opiates so addictive, that and it’s chemical properties.
I’ve only had one run in with someone using opium recreationally, back when I was in High School, or just graduated. I was at a party, and there were lots of fun party type things. A friend of mine had brought opium (according to him and my memory, which are both subject to interpretation) because he knew I suffered from migraines, and another one of our friends had always wanted to try it.
I had no interest in trying it, for a few reasons, one being I didn’t trust this person, the other being a few other friends were already very drunk and someone needed to remain “responsible” but my friend Foxy did. Foxy, was normally quite hyper, but that night after ingesting whatever substance was given to her, she smoked something, she got very quiet, and quite content to sit and stare at a wall, and tell us about how it breathed.
I’ve taken opiates, mostly for pain, although they just make me very very sleepy. I slept for a week after my shoulder surgery, waking up only to take painkillers, I think that was Hydrocodone or something, but I could see how in a lower dose it would be addictive.
I’ve been playing with the idea of adding a drug to the world my current WIP takes place in. I think it would add an additional layer of world building to the world, and its something deal with today. In fact, when I ask kids what issues they think will go through some of the biggest changes in their lifetimes it’s pretty much always drug use, and gay rights.