Go to France and party like it’s 1918! (French Opium Party that is)
Ah, the culture of France. The music, the painting, the architecture, the parties where people would go to smoke opium together. Yes indeed, in 1918 there were special events held that served one sole purpose, get people together to sell them opium for their amusement. This was such a popular practice that for decades there were these “Opium Den Parties,” all throughout Europe and Asia.
The substance that is used to create the highly addictive and highly dangerous drug heroin was just being sold to the common man at this age. It is rather mind-boggling in this day and age to imagine in the past a time where you could purchase substances that are illegal today just as easily as a gallon of milk. Opium appears to have been mostly a Chinese product that was shipped to the other parts of the world since the very first traders set foot on Chinese soil.
It wasn’t until around the 1920’s that regulation of the product truly began. Governments from both Europe and the United States began to take notice of the adverse effects that opium was having on their citizens, so they acted quickly to ban its sale unless through a pharmacist. Of course, this didn’t stop the flow, but it stemmed it.
Many pharmacists still sold it to whomever asked, regardless of their condition. Now because of the growing problem of heroin addictions in our country, pharmacists have nearly phased out opium-based products in favor of less harmful pain killers.
Writer / Quiz Creator
Andrew Nicholas is a passionate reader and writer on the subjects of history and mankind. He is a published author, critic, and poet who grew up in the friendly scenery of rural Ohio. He is a graduate of Wright State University and a regular student of historical curiosities.