Opium Fiend

Opium Fiend

A 21st Century Slave to A 19th Century Addiction : A Memoir

Book - 2012
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"A renowned authority on the secret world of opium recounts his descent into ruinous obsession with one of the world's oldest and most seductive drugs, in this harrowing memoir of addiction and recovery. natural-born collector with a nose for exotic adventure, San Diego born Steven Martin followed his bliss to Southeast Asia, where he found work as a freelance journalist. While researching an article about the vanishing culture of opium smoking, he was inspired to begin collecting rare nineteenth-century opium-smoking equipment. Over time, he amassed a valuable assortment of exquisite pipes, antique lamps, and other opium-related accessories and began putting it all to use by smoking an extremely potent form of the drug called chandu . But what started out as recreational use grew into a thirty-pipe-a-day habit that consumed Martin's every waking hour, left him incapable of work, and exacted a frightful physical and financial toll. In passages that will send a chill up the spine of anyone who has ever lived in the shadow of substance abuse, Martin chronicles his efforts to control and then conquer his addiction from quitting cold turkey to taking the cure at a Buddhist
Publisher: New York : Villard Books, c2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780345517838
Branch Call Number: 921 MAR
Characteristics: 400 p. : ill., map ; 22 cm

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rlambertdo
Sep 20, 2012

I thought this book was historically fascinating and autobiographically tragic. The history of opium smoking and the problems which developed world-wide in the late 1800's is well presented.
In more recent history, the author became fascinated with Asian artifacts, and started collected opium pipes and other smoking accoutrements. The story ends tenuously, with the author addicted, then cautiously sober.
I really enjoyed this book, all the way around, and remain opium-free.

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