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Opium in China

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Opium is a very crucial drug in the medicine field, and it is widely used in many health facilities and hospitals across the globe. The early uses of opium were applied by natives. They used the drug as a sedative, muscle relaxant, and to help reduce congestion. It was also used to heal toothaches and all types of coughs. The modern use of opium has led to the formation of very strong narcotic painkillers. Opium is mainly associated with Morphine and Oxycodone, which are very strong narcotics. Opium is used in the modern age to treat diseases like spasms or diarrhea, although it is not commonly used (

Opium use for medicinal purposes may have adverse effects on some people. People who have seizure disorders, lung, liver, and heart or kidney problems should inform the doctors about it before opium is administered to them. Opium has many side effects like nausea, constipation, drowsiness or itching. Some of these side effects are short-term while others are long lasting. Opium use overdose can cause anxiety, chills, coma, constricted pupils, depression or usual weakness. It is a very addictive drug, making it very important for proper monitoring of its use (Lovell, 5).


Opium in China was not first introduced by the British. Opium was first introduced in China by both the Turkish and the Arab traders in the early 7th Century. The British only helped in the growth of the opium trade in China. They developed the various opium traffics in the 18th and 19th centuries. The British took advantage of the opium grown in India and sold it in the growing opium market. The British only used the trade of opium in China to have their hands on the Chinese silk, pottery work, and tea. British used opium trade to fix the trade imbalance between British and China (


As the various Western countries, including Britain, ventured into the opium trade in China, so did the overall market in China increase. The Chinese people also developed an addiction to opium. This made it very crucial for the opium traders to maintain a steady supply of opium to the market. The trade of opium also increased in the Chinese market because it was generating profits with the Chinese people. The corrupt Chinese officials took advantage of this trade and venture heavily into it. This expanded the overall opium trade in the Chinese market. The Chinese officials could not stop the use of opium in their regions since the many people were addicted to opium (


The British ventured heavily into the opium trade in China. They enjoyed full monopoly power in the opium trade since they controlled most of the trading markets. The British pushed for a wide spread of opium trade in China since she benefited from luxury goods. The British made deals with the corrupt Chinese official to allow them to continue with opium trade in their country. The British also made alliances with the French and fought with the Chinese government to lift the ban on the opium business in China. China lost the war to the alliance between Britain and the French. The growth of opium trade increased in China for the decades that followed.


The opium trade in China mainly involved the exploitation of the Chinese officials. They took advantage of their power to operate in the opium trade and make more profits. The Chinese troops also consumed large amounts of opium. The opium addiction issue forced the Qing government to ban the use of opium in the region. The Qing governments forbid the cultivation of opium in the native lands. China served as a pivot point for the British-Indian opium trade. It helped in the regulation of opium importation and use (Encyclopedia Britannica).


The Qing government discovered that those people were addicted to opium at alarming levels. It put a ban on the local cultivation of opium in the regions. The Qing government made a ten year’s treaty with India not to grow opium for a decade. The Qing government also fought with the British and France alliance in a bid to stop the opium trade in China. Unfortunately, the Qing government lost the war to the British and French alliance (


The Qing government feared a loss of social control since it had lost the war to the British and France alliance. The government was also very strict on the ban of the opium cultivation and trade in the region. This made the government very unpopular among the people. The majority of the people were addicted to opium, making very difficult for the Qing government to have strong supporters. The opium trade was a good source of income for the people in the region. The Qing government feared a loss of social control since the people were not ready to accept the idea of not getting enough profits. The Qing government fears the loss of social control since some of its members were corrupt and ventured into the illegal trade of opium (Lovell, 7).

Works Cited,. 'Medicinal Importance Of Opium, Papaver Somniferum.'. N.p., 2015. Web. 1 Sept. 2015.,. 'History Of The Opium Trade In China'. N.p., 2015. Web. 1 Sept. 2015.,. 'Opium Side Effects In Detail - Drugs.Com'. N.p., 2015. Web. 1 Sept. 2015. Encyclopedia Britannica,. 'Opium Trade | British And Chinese History'. Web. 1 Sept. 2015.

Lovell, Julia. The opium war. Picador Australia, 2011.

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