By: Livv, Luke, Amanda, and Joiya

What is it?

Opium is a highly addictive narcotic drug, that is developed from the opium poppy seed pod. A yellow-brown latex is scraped off the pod, which contains morphine, codeine, and papaverine. To put its strength in perspective, opium is 2 to 3 times less potent that heroin.

Then vs. Now

Opium goes back to ancient Egyptian, Indian, and Roman times. During the 1700s in China, opium was mixed with tobacco and smoked, which developed the realization of opium addiction. Throughout time, people learned how to manage the drug, and was used primarily as a pain killer. Opium continued to be used throughout the American Civil War. As technology advanced, it began to be used to make new medicines.
Empire's Opium Trade - Empire - Episode 4 - BBC One