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Opiate abuse

In 1821 Thomas de Quincy described his experiences of opium abuse in his book Confessions of an English Opium Eater. Later, morphine was used widely as a painkiller during the American Civil War, but many veterans became addicted. In 1875, chemists trying to find a less addictive form of morphine made heroin. At first, no-one realised how addictive heroin was - it was used in cough mixture. Addiction to heroin is now a serious problem in many parts of the world.

Morphine was used as a painkiller during the American Civil War, but many veterans became addicted.
Morphine was used as a painkiller during the American Civil War, but many veterans became addicted.
Corbis

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