This year is the 300th anniversary of the publication of one of the first books written about opiates and their subjective effects. Since that time the influence of opiates in Western society has grown enormously, as has our knowledge of the mechanisms by which these drugs produce their effects. Wars have been fought over the use of opiates and the economies of several countries depend on their production. In this article, some aspects of the history and effects of opiates on the arts in particular are explored.
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