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Dataloungers, tell me all about OPIUM dens!

What were they like in your youth? Did you ever make it to Chinatown to partake?

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by Anonymousreply 78Last Tuesday at 2:57 PM

The photos seemed pretty epic

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by Anonymousreply 1Last Friday at 12:55 PM

I had some great times there!

by Anonymousreply 2Last Friday at 1:02 PM

Yes... all of you partiers out there that are over 100, do please tell us what it was like!

by Anonymousreply 3Last Friday at 1:23 PM

Based on those photos, looks like it just ppl wanna sleep

by Anonymousreply 4Last Friday at 1:25 PM

Just makes*

by Anonymousreply 5Last Friday at 1:25 PM

no. But if I had, I probably would still be there now.

by Anonymousreply 6Last Friday at 1:26 PM

There was one in Princeton New Jersey I used to frequent. It was in an old polo stable at Bunny's country place. Lots of big cushions and we would read poetry.

by Anonymousreply 7Last Friday at 1:30 PM

The scourge of late 19th century China. Out of a population of 300 million, about one-third were addicted to opium.

by Anonymousreply 8Last Friday at 1:32 PM

They look like heroin addicts.

by Anonymousreply 9Last Friday at 1:38 PM

San Francisco was full of them.

by Anonymousreply 10Last Friday at 1:55 PM

^ How long ago??

by Anonymousreply 11Last Friday at 1:57 PM

Did you ever see SCENT OF A WOMAN...on opium?

by Anonymousreply 12Last Friday at 2:01 PM

R11 Turn of the century

by Anonymousreply 13Last Friday at 2:03 PM

Opium is still popular in places like Afghanistan.

by Anonymousreply 14Last Friday at 2:20 PM

San Francisco is now an open air heroin den.

by Anonymousreply 15Last Friday at 2:25 PM

China had a hell of a time addressing the addiction problem. It really wasn't until Mao that mass-scale opium addiction was eradicated -- with rehabilitation and medical help for those who were cooperative, but also labor camps, imprisonment, and even execution for those weren't cooperative.

by Anonymousreply 16Last Friday at 3:43 PM

I've read about the opium trade and it was the only time in recent history that the West had an economic advantage over China. Now we have to kow-tow ( abasement, humiliation) with respect to the Middle Kingdom to secure PPE and medications.

by Anonymousreply 17Last Friday at 3:50 PM

It's an old drug, almost obsolete. Not unlike morphine.

by Anonymousreply 18Last Friday at 3:59 PM

It smelled really good.

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by Anonymousreply 19Last Friday at 4:37 PM

Robert De Niro smoked it in Once Upon A Time In America

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by Anonymousreply 20Last Friday at 4:53 PM

What was the fun of it? I mean... I'm all for an altered state but how much of it did you enjoy? Seems like you mainly just went out (I guess that could be it then.)

by Anonymousreply 21Last Friday at 5:00 PM

R21 I read an article about opium years ago. I think it was in vanity Fair, that talked about how genuine opium was almost impossible to find, and how the high was unbelievable but impossible to come down (I rally can’t remember). It was an interesting article and the writer had to got through a lot of trouble to get some. Most so called opium that they sell now is heroin or morphine. Real opium is impossible to get and extremely expensive.

by Anonymousreply 22Last Friday at 5:44 PM

r13, you need to say "turn of the 20th century". Turn of the century now means at the beginning of the 21st century.

by Anonymousreply 23Last Friday at 5:56 PM

Prime dick!

by Anonymousreply 24Last Friday at 5:57 PM

I love scary old opium den photos.

This article has many, mostly of Chinese smokers.

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by Anonymousreply 25Last Friday at 6:29 PM

Without opium, there'd be no Hong Kong.

by Anonymousreply 26Last Friday at 6:34 PM

R25, I hope that poor cat is not high on opium.

by Anonymousreply 27Last Saturday at 11:36 AM

I went to an opium din but I couldn't bear the noise.

by Anonymousreply 28Last Saturday at 11:39 AM

Also sorry for all the odd typos. New phone and all.


by Anonymousreply 29Last Saturday at 1:09 PM

R8 the USA should Covertly flood China with cheap opium and maybe we could get a third of the county addicted again.

by Anonymousreply 30Last Saturday at 1:33 PM

When YSL launched Opium the perfume in 1977, there was considerable outrage and horror because of the drug association. You would think they called it "Pussy Juice."

by Anonymousreply 31Last Saturday at 1:46 PM

R30, China, in fact, seems to be doing the opposite to us and other western nations -- flooding us with cheap opioids, including those dangerous Fentanyl patches, etc.

I believe China refers to that period in history as their "100 years of humiliation." From around the first Opium War until the end of WWII, China was on the losing end of a lot of foreign interference. It's almost inconceivable to think of a country having one-third of its population addicted to heavy narcotics. That would be a disaster.

by Anonymousreply 32Last Saturday at 5:42 PM

Opium just seems like it makes you want to sleep. Is it like Ambien?

by Anonymousreply 33Last Saturday at 5:58 PM

R33, I think the closest thing people would compare it to nowadays is like heroin. It incapacitates the user and doesn't exactly make them very industrious.

by Anonymousreply 34Last Saturday at 6:16 PM

They have crazy eyes.

by Anonymousreply 35Last Saturday at 8:33 PM

R22 Is this the article you are thinking of?

Vanity Fair:


Driven by romantic, spiritual, and medicinal imperatives, the author goes in search of something everyone tells him no longer exists: an opium den. From Hong Kong to Bangkok to the Golden Triangle, he is offered every decadence known to the East—and learns the truth about a legendarily perfect drug.


NOVEMBER 10, 2009

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by Anonymousreply 36Last Saturday at 8:49 PM

Here's a pipe for you, sir.

(Prince is five and two, sir.)

Can't you see the garden?

It's such a lovely garden...

I'll take you there, I know the path so well...

To Hell."

by Anonymousreply 37Last Saturday at 8:54 PM


by Anonymousreply 38Last Saturday at 8:55 PM

is smoking opium what they called chasing the dragon?

by Anonymousreply 39Last Saturday at 8:56 PM

Everyone pray for r39, his fucking Google is broken.

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by Anonymousreply 40Last Saturday at 9:01 PM

Ask Olivia de Havilland

by Anonymousreply 41Last Saturday at 9:09 PM

Ask Gabrielle Carteris.

by Anonymousreply 42Last Saturday at 9:12 PM

It looks pretty nice. Why is opium illegal?

by Anonymousreply 43Last Saturday at 9:25 PM

There’s a Cab Calloway song about it

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by Anonymousreply 44Last Saturday at 9:31 PM

All my memories of Opium dens come from Thoroughly Modern Millie, Doctor Who, and Agatha Christie.

Yes, I’d get addicted and require treatment at a sanitarium that had ponies and LSD.

by Anonymousreply 45Last Saturday at 9:46 PM

R43, I think because other drugs at least prod people to move around a bit. Opium was highly addictive, rendered people immobile and useless, with less energy than even a zombie. You can imagine how that might create a huge problem when a third of your population is in that state.

by Anonymousreply 46Last Saturday at 10:00 PM

It looks relaxing.

by Anonymousreply 47Last Sunday at 2:46 AM

That Nick Tosches article posted above is from 2000, not 2009. So the connected old timers who managed to get him opium in SEA even at that time are probably dead by now (Nick himself died last fall). It does seem to be an entirely dead drug scene, but is that really such a bad thing?

by Anonymousreply 48Last Sunday at 11:49 AM

We had a nice den in my home growing up, we had a color TV and a ping pong table. And a parakeet. Oh wait I thought it said "tell me all about Ohio dens." Then I put my specs on. Never mind.

by Anonymousreply 49Last Sunday at 11:56 AM

It's still a huge problem in Afghanistan, partly due to poppy cultivation there, and also during war there, people looked for escapism in the form of a cheap, readily available high.

by Anonymousreply 50Last Sunday at 12:05 PM

R36 I believe that’s the article.

R50 from what I gather, those “opium” poppies are just heroin and the farmers and dealers lie so they can charge more. Who knows though, maybe they really are opium. There’s not much way to prove it. The article at r36 was written a while ago, so maybe some enterprising dealers have decided to start cultivating it again.

by Anonymousreply 51Last Sunday at 12:53 PM

Make China Opium Again

by Anonymousreply 52Last Sunday at 1:32 PM

Opium sounds nice, except even a half of a hydrocodone constipates me for a week.

by Anonymousreply 53Last Sunday at 2:29 PM

R51, you're probably right. I didn't realize opium was such a scarce commodity until reading the article at R36. Great article, btw. Really brings home how ancient opium is -- around since the days of Mesopotamians, Egyptians, and ancient Greeks.

by Anonymousreply 54Last Sunday at 2:52 PM

BTW, I wonder who the author is referencing when he mentions that famous French celebrity fashion designer who apparently has a huge opium habit?

by Anonymousreply 55Last Sunday at 2:56 PM

Catherine Deneuve looked fabulous sinking opium in INDOCHINE.

by Anonymousreply 56Last Sunday at 2:57 PM


by Anonymousreply 57Last Sunday at 2:57 PM

I made/harvested my own opium 30 years ago. I learned a lot.

The poppy life/blooming cycle is daylight-length dependent. I planted the seeds at the wrong time and they grew in the fall and then went semi-dormant all winter. Where I live it's warm enough in winter and I thought they'd grow during the winter. Plant them at the right time, probably in late winter or early spring as soon as there's no danger of frost.

I planted some in pots and others in the dirt. The ones in the dirt grew much larger. I also transplanted a couple and that screwed them up, some died and the rest were stunted. They don't like being moved.

They finally bloomed in late spring. This was at the very beginning of the internet, so I had to go to the library and find books on how to harvest the sap. I waited about 10 days after they bloomed. Using a box knife, I made a few pokes 5 to 7 mm vertically around half the circumference of the seed bulb in the morning. In the evening I scraped the sap off the cuts. Next morning I poked the other side of the bulb and repeated. It took a few days to gather a few grams of opium. As it dried it turned from white to gray to black.

Then a college friend - from northern Italy where I learned they do a lot of recreational drugs - and I mixed some with weed and smoked it. We got very spaced out, relaxed and euphoric, then tranced out, half-napping for a couple hours. Then it began to wear off and maybe 3 hours later we were almost back to normal.

Unfortunately I had a roommate who found out what I had made and took it upon himself to go into my room, seize the rest of my opium, and dispose of it. So I only got to try it that one time.

by Anonymousreply 58Last Sunday at 3:56 PM

R58 can you use any kind of poppy?

by Anonymousreply 59Last Sunday at 4:23 PM

I'm going to answer my own question at R55 and guess that it was Yves Saint-Laurent he was alluding to (he had a perfume named Opium)?

by Anonymousreply 60Last Sunday at 4:43 PM

r58, that's definitely an interesting story!

by Anonymousreply 61Last Sunday at 5:12 PM

Its effects are said to be debilitating.

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by Anonymousreply 62Last Sunday at 5:18 PM

R62, I think anything that is as addictive as opium is purported to be is not something to be trifled with.

by Anonymousreply 63Last Sunday at 5:29 PM

Deneuve made it look glamorous in Indochine.

by Anonymousreply 64Last Sunday at 5:36 PM

R36, great article. My question is this -- so the guy finally finds opium after searching all over Asia, he ends up taking it a few times and loving it, calling it the 'perfect drug." What happened after? Did he become addicted? Just a one-off thing?

by Anonymousreply 65Last Monday at 8:01 AM

R58- I. have smoked some opium with pot. It was exactly how you described. I. would add it can make you more intimate with those around you. I did it with an old friend. But I loved it!

by Anonymousreply 66Last Monday at 8:40 AM

R66, it wasn't addictive?

by Anonymousreply 67Last Monday at 9:24 AM

My guess was YSL too re: the opium addict. Didn’t he used to run around Morocco just so he could smoke opium and chase underage boys with no hassle from the law?

R58’s description of farming the poppy is also talked about a bit in the article. Not only is it almost impossible to find a real opium poppy, it’s a finicky plant and most of them have been destroyed because it’s a drug that was so addictive it took down entire countries.

One of my mother’s old riich relatives was an opium addict. He’s dead. It had nothing to do with opium, he was old.

by Anonymousreply 68Last Monday at 7:53 PM

R68, you have rebel gardeners throughout the US claiming opium poppies. In planting Zone5, my mom claimed her opium poppies needed morning and noon sun with shade in the afternoon.

by Anonymousreply 69Last Monday at 8:18 PM

I'd love to try it. Right up my alley I reckon.

by Anonymousreply 70Last Monday at 8:28 PM

Why yes, I remember back in 1905 I used to have a place to repair to. It was delightful, don't believe the negative press.

by Anonymousreply 71Last Monday at 8:44 PM

Did someone say opium?

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by Anonymousreply 72Last Monday at 9:03 PM

China is still so traumatized by their opium epidemic, in fact, that I believe the punishment for selling it is the death penalty...

by Anonymousreply 73Last Monday at 9:06 PM

Thanks for the article recommendation r-36. Beautiful writing.

by Anonymousreply 74Last Monday at 10:51 PM

R67- I wasn't addicted.

by Anonymousreply 75Last Tuesday at 12:53 PM

I’m all about the crack dens!

by Anonymousreply 76Last Tuesday at 1:06 PM

Opium dens in movies: Once Upon a Time in America - DeNiro is in a den; many reviewers believed the entire movie was his 'pipe dream' of how he remembered his life.

The original Razor's Edge - Ann Bancroft is in a den, trying to numb herself from her husband's death and Tyrone Power rescues her.

by Anonymousreply 77Last Tuesday at 2:20 PM

The Blacklist had Red (James Spader) in an opium den after he thinks Elizabeth is dead.

by Anonymousreply 78Last Tuesday at 2:57 PM
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