To continue with our story of Bhang, Opium & Brothers, the Britishers tried to earn money off the Chinese by pushing opium sale to them. The Chinese government was alarmed and tried to ban the import and use of opium. This resulted in two opium wars in late nineteenth century in which the Chinese were squarely defeated. The result was that by 1905 about a quarter of the Chinese male population was addicted to opium. How they got rid of this habit and rose to be what they are today says something about the resilience of an old civilisation which has not decayed like many others.
One has also learnt that in some parts of Rajasthan on a festive occasions including marriage ceremony etc. the guests are welcomed with opium heavily diluted in water in very small quantity.
Opium contains morphine and codeine. And it is morphine which is further processed into heroin which is twice more potent than morphine. It is taken through intravenous injections and is both a painkiller and a recreational drug. Heroin is so addictive that even three days' sustained use can cause addiction and withdrawal system if discontinued. I remeber a dreadful story (fiction) where in oder to wreak vengeance on a girl, she is kidnapped and then forcibly administered heroin for seven days making her the slave of the goon! It has stuck to my memory for so many years. Heroin is also known by the street names of black tar, smack, dope and dust.
Sometimes heroin is mixed with cocaine and injected intravenously, smoked or snorted .This is a dangerous combination, as the effect of the two are not in the same direction..
Cocaine is an alkaloid which is made from the leaves of coca plant. Crack is the inferior form of cocaine, whereas pure cocaine is white. To increase its weight, it is mixed with baking soda, or sugars like dextrose or lactose. It is used by snorting snuffing or blowing.
That finishes the story hopefully without yawns from the readers. While concluding it can be said that some people are in favour of legalizing marijuana and hashish at least in the US which is the biggest market for these and other drugs. Should be done.Experts! I am open to any correction.