Over time, Martin amassed one of the best collections in the world, wrote a book about the artifacts, and became a renowned authority on the subject. However, collecting pipes, lamps, and other opium-related accessories was not enough.
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Martin began smoking opium using some of the pieces in his collection. What began as recreational use in the company of a friend and a celebration of opium culture eventually turned into a crippling pipe-a-day habit that kept Martin at home, forced him to miss deadlines, and hurt his finances to the point that he had to start selling pieces of his beloved collection. While there is plenty of romanticism surrounding the act of opium smoking and the culture that sprung up around the drug in different parts of the world, the author is also brutally honest about the impact it had on his life.
Even when he finds an almost miraculous cure inside a Buddhist monastery in the Thai countryside, the shadow of the drug and its mystical allure are always present and threatening the author with a relapse.
Bangkok Post article
Opium Fiend is very well researched and truly informative. A fine example of this is the brevity with which the author dispels myths and clarifies how opium arrived in China:. The Arabic connection is most evident in the Chinese word for opium, yapian , which is probably a corruption of the Arabic word for opium, afiyun. Interestingly, Martin started as a collector of antique opium accoutrements. Then he really immersed himself in his hobby and ended up an addict, refilling his pipe thirty times a day.
Opium Fiend: A 21st Century Slave to a 19th Century Addiction : a Memoir
Above is his smoking gear, photographed in Now clean, Martin visited the offices of Collectors Weekly:. At first, of course, there were these opium dens in Laos that I could get to quite easily. Vientiane was an overnight train ride from Bangkok, where I was living. I would take tools up to the opium dens and see if the old smokers there knew what they were. They would show me how a piece was used.
For example, a lot of different tools are used as rolling surfaces, as they call them. There are lots of different tools for rolling the opium pill, as they call it, into the correct shape before inserting it onto the pipe bowl. Then I started experimenting with the drug. Joint pain. Poor digestion.
Opium Fiend: A 21st Century Slave to a 19th Century Addiction
Hair loss. Erectile dysfunction.
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More than 2, years ago in western China, people in mourning gathered at a cemetery for a ritual that involved getting high from cannabis plants burning in wooden pots. Oakland City Council unanimously passed the resolution on Tuesday.
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- An interesting piece of “narco-journalism”.
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