How Collecting Opium Antiques Turned Me Into an Opium Addict

via boingboing via collectorsweekly

Again, opium smoking is very involved, very time-consuming. At first, that’s what I was attracted to, the whole ritual aspect of it. But then I started bringing the stuff to my apartment. That’s when things went crazy. I went from smoking opium a couple of times a week to round-the-clock. I tried getting off the stuff, but couldn’t. It was just impossible, so painful. I ended up checking into a Buddhist monastery a couple of hours north of Bangkok that specializes in treating people with addictions. They have this potion they claim came to a Buddhist nun in a dream. You drink it, hold it down for a few minutes, and then start vomiting it up. You do that for five days straight. Somehow, it made the withdrawal symptoms maybe a quarter of what they were when I had tried to quit on my own. I’ve got nothing but good things to say about that monastery.

This fascinating article just underscores how careful you need to be with certain drugs and the real possibility of addiction. Just when he wasn’t looking, this poor fellow had opium’s hooks stuck into him. Seems like a lot of people are going through this today with heroin in pill form nowadays – and that’s even scarier because of it’s convenience. It’s tough to sneak around with all the tools you need to smoke opium. I guess that was the allure of the Opium Den – where all the stuff was there waiting for you. Convenience. Opium Dens remind me of the Lotus Eaters. Creepy and scary. Sounds like you shouldn’t play with the Devil in drug form. Interesting how the old texts keep referring to Opium as “evil”.

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