when did drug addiction start

Drug addiction has been an issue throughout the years, often with profound effects on the individuals and their families. But, when did it all begin? Let’s explore the history of drug addiction and when it first started to become an issue.

A Deep Dive into the History of Drug Addiction

Drug addiction has had a long history, with evidence of usage going back thousands of years. Early opium use for example can be traced back to the Sumerian culture, dating as far back as 3,400 BC. During this time, opium was used to treat a variety of illnesses and ailments, such as asthma, headaches, and even as a pain relief.

In the late 1700s and early 1800s, opium and other drugs were widely available and very popular, leading to widespread addiction. Drugs such as opiates and cocaine were frequently used as a form of self-medication for medical problems. This was especially true for women, who were often prescribed opiates for menstrual cramps and other ailments. Unfortunately, by the late 19th century, addiction to these drugs had become a severe problem.

Exploring When it All Started

While there is evidence of drug use since ancient history, drug addiction as we know it today began to become a problem in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The American Civil War saw a dramatic increase in the number of people using and becoming addicted to opiates and cocaine. After the war, the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act of 1914 was passed, making it illegal to possess or use certain drugs including opiates and cocaine.

The rise in drug addiction was also furthered by the development of pharmaceutical drugs such as morphine and heroin. These drugs were initially seen as a safer alternative to opiates and cocaine, however, they quickly gained a reputation for being dangerous and highly addictive.

Drug addiction has been a problem throughout the years, with evidence of its use as far back as ancient history. While drug use has been around for a long time, it wasn’t until the late 19th and early 20th centuries that it became a major issue. With the passing of the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act of 1914, drug addiction became a major problem, and it continues to be an issue today.