By Jeremy Agnew
This ebook explores the function and impact of drink and medication (primarily opium) within the previous West, which for this booklet is taken into account to be the United States west of the Mississippi from the California gold rush of the 1840s to the last of the Western Frontier in approximately 1900. this era was once the 1st time in American heritage that heavy ingesting and drug abuse grew to become a huge social drawback. consuming used to be thought of to be an approved pursuit for males on the time. Smoking opium was once thought of to be deviant and linked to teams at the fringes of mainstream society, yet opium use and dependancy via ladies was once ordinary. This publication offers the historical past of either components and the way their use unfold around the West, firstly for medicinal purposes--but how overuse and abuse ended in the Temperance stream and finally to nationwide Prohibition. This publication experiences the historic fact of alcohol and opium use within the previous West with no bias.
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Additional info for Alcohol and Opium in the Old West: Use, Abuse and Influence
Cavalry, who were supposed to prevent the sale or trade of whiskey to the Indians. Because liquor was legally banned on Indian reservations, the demand was often met by illegal producers who smuggled their so-called whiskey to an eager and lucrative market. Unscrupulous traders knew that they could bargain a cheap bottle of homemade liquor for a prime buffalo robe. The Indians had their own ideas about whiskey and as long as the “whiskey” they traded for met these expectations, the drink was considered to be good.
The Incas used it for rituals and drank it in large quantities during religious festivities. Mills discovered in the Andes for processing chicha have been dated back to the 1500s. This drink, fermented with human saliva, was made from corn but could also be made 46 Alcohol and Opium in the Old West There are more than 120 species of agave plant. Six of them were commonly used to produce the beer-like drink called pulque, which was also distilled to make the ﬁery liquors mescal and tequila. This is the golden-ﬂowered agave (Agave chrysantha) from Arizona, which produces a tall ﬂowering stem and a fat stalk that could be tapped to produce liquid.
In reality, alcohol does not stimulate this excess of outgoing feelings, but depresses the part of the brain that controls them, thus decreasing inhibitions and shyness, allowing the more primitive instincts to manifest themselves freely. The alcohol reduces what would be considered awkwardness and restraint. Alcohol in sufﬁcient amounts suppresses moral inhibitions and control, and allows lusty feelings to come to the surface. What the men of the Old West did not realize was that excessive use of alcohol diminished the body’s level of testosterone and sexual function.