Pipe dreams and nightmares - Page 2

New memoir Opium Fiend documents an obsession with the cause of the "world's first real drug epidemic."

A historic image snapped by an unknown photographer depicts opium smoking at a private home, probably San Francisco circa 1900

For the curious, Opium Fiend describes the actual experience of smoking, including the specific feelings associated with the high (tranquil, but "it turns you inward," says Martin; he took detailed notes daily, even at the height of his addiction) and the preparation required to achieve the highest-quality result. It's a delicate, time-consuming process, but for Martin that was part of the thrill.

"For me, that was the best part. I was really hooked on the ritual. Once I'd actually learned to prepare the pipes myself, that became my favorite source of entertainment: lying there next to the opium layout, within the glow of the opium lamp, watching myself prepare pipe after pipe. It was just mesmerizing," he says.

"I'd be lying if I didn't say I miss it very much. Sometimes I'll have these very vivid dreams about smoking, and I'll wake up in the morning, lying on my left side, in the same position I used to smoke in. It's crazy — even though I've quit, it won't leave me alone. I think about it all the time."


Otherwise, stay the hell clear of drugs which take more than they give. From the sound of the write-up, I'll bet this one isn't done with his enthrallment.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 03, 2012 @ 8:58 am

The obsessive compulsive imperative collect correlates with the inability to resist addiction.

I once smoked opium in 1981 at the Rolling Stones show at the Cotton Bowl (ZZ Top and Fabulous Thunderbirds opened). It was awesome and tranquil but I did not want more.

Posted by marcos on Jul. 03, 2012 @ 9:21 am

Some great poets and authors did find useful insight from the use of opiates such as Coleridge, at least according to legend, wrote Xanadu under the imfluence.
'To live beyond the pleasure dome, decreed by Kublai Khan...'
If I quote correctly... Nonetheless, the authors descriptions of Laos and Indo-China are at the tops of travel literature, and his sober descriptions of the scene make this memoir worthwhile.
Highly recommended...

Posted by BChuck on Jul. 22, 2012 @ 7:17 pm

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