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Opium Eater: The New Confessions

Opium Eater: The New Confessions

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Amid headlines of overdoses and galloping addiction rates, an outspoken and darkly comic dispatch from the new Age of Opium.


North Americans are the world's most compulsive and prolific users of legal opioids. Author Carlyn Zwarenstein, diagnosed with an inflammatory spine disease as a young mother, eventually turned to them to manage her pain. 
In this lyrical update of Thomas De Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, she recounts her search for relief and release — with its euphoric ups, hallucinatory lows and desperate pharmacy visits.                                                                                                                                                                                       Along the way she traces the long tradition of opium’s influence on culture and imagination, from De Quincey to Frida Kahlo. Part love letter to Romanticism, part critique of modern medicine, Zwarenstein’s memoir offers a distinctly different riff on pain, creativity and mind-altering drugs. 

Note: the price below includes $13.95 plus $2.95 for shipping and handling. Taxes will be added at checkout. Allow up to 10 business days for delivery. 

EXCERPT

"Then there is the actual taking of the drug. If you don’t get a high from whatever medicineyou take, I suppose it is just a medicine. Nobody craves Tylenol or Ibuprofen or Lipitor. If, however, the drug you are taking is really, in your own mind, a drug, all the preparation involved is part of a lovely ritual of anticipation. It has a sort of a pleasant glow of association. Do this, feel that.
As a lifelong non-smoker, a cautious adolescent, and the most sober adult at any party, I have nevertheless been fascinated by intoxication, addiction and altered mental states for as long as I can remember. I don’t think that anyone I know has known that about me. The flame that licks the spoon. The tightening of the rubber strap and the clinical flicking of a tube with the nails of index finger and thumb. The way you hold the cigarette, even, stretching out your fingers, touching your lips as you inhale. It’s all a very private romance." 
$16.90