Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Portraits of 19th & 20th Century OPIUM DENS

Compared to fentanyl, opium seems quaint by today’s standards. But in the 1800s and early 1900s, it was the cause of an epidemic of addiction all over the world. It was the cause of war (arguably still is) and also promoted as a cure for alcoholism. It was the basis for morphine, which rippled through the American civil war troops and caused decades of addiction until that was replaced by heroin. Today on the streets of Vancouver, I see people huddled together the same way 19th and 20th century opium addicts were in these photos and engravings. So similar, it makes me reflect on how our addicted friends and family are just the latest in a long line of political sacrifices meant to keep the rest of us scared and in line. We’re told drugs are bad and punished for using by the very governments who ensure the drugs keep flowing. Check out a gallery of photos and engravings from opium dens in the US, France, China, Australia, the UK, and Central Asia.

Written By

Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation.

Sentient 51423

You May Also Like


Being an LA native means a lot of things. One of those things is witnessing how DTLA looks very different than when I was...


Bodily Autonomy is a trending topic these days, but given the Pharmaceutical industry’s power over us, how much control are we actually given? In...


The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,...


Imagine that you’re driving across the United States with $2500 in cash. Maybe it’s a deposit on a new apartment; it doesn’t really matter...

Copyright © 2020 CVLT Nation.