Confessions of an English Opium Eater

Confessions of an English Opium Eater

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ISBN10: 1534609652 ISBN13: 9781534609655 Contributors: De Quincey, Thomas Publisher: Createspace Indie Pub Platform Published: Jun 11 2016 Pages: 64 Height: 9.00" Width: 6.00" Depth: 0.15" Language: English

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Among the first accounts of opium addiction, Confessions of an English Opium Eater was to become an authoritative reference in medicine and among the general public for the symptoms of addiction to opiates.
Written by Thomas De Quincey, this text is strongly autobiographical, with the author accounting for his life prior to becoming an addict, how he first came to discover and take opium, and his gradual descent into the grip of addiction. In individual chapters, the pleasures and pains of the substance are thoroughly described, with poignant references to poetry and literature frequent.
Although an educated and well-travelled man, Quincey found resisting opium to be an insurmountable challenge for quite some time. Throughout his long addiction, he was able to see how his tolerance to opium developed, and kept a measurement of the doses he was taking and the various symptoms and sensations - both physical and mental - which occurred. The reader can witness a significant internal struggle on the part of the author, which adds an element of compelling drama to the pages.
Eventually the pleasurable side of the addiction subsided altogether and a physical toll took hold. At this point Quincey describes his determination to recover and end his opium habit in the final parts of his historic account:
"The reader is aware that opium had long ceased to found its empire on spells of pleasure; it was solely by the tortures connected with the attempt to abjure it that it kept its hold. Yet, as other tortures, no less it may be thought, attended the non-abjuration of such a tyrant, a choice only of evils was left; and that might as well have been adopted which, however terrific in itself, held out a prospect of final restoration to happiness."
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