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Opium was an extract from opium poppies. It was also known as papaver somniferum, which translated to "pipe of poppy".

Opium was commonly smoked as a drug. In 1889, Li H'sen Chang smoked opium to dull the pain of his injuries. Leela thought it smelled like decaying fruit. Magnus Greel regarded Chang's men as "opium-addicted scum". (TV: The Talons of Weng-Chiang)

Thomas De Quincey recorded the effect of the drug, notably hallucinations, in his book Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. (PROSE: The Banquo Legacy)

The woman who lodged in the rooms immediately below Lisa-Beth Lachlan smoked opium. She always placed the jar in a room near the bottom of the stairway, allowing the fumes to go up to Lisa-Beth's rooms. (PROSE: The Adventuress of Henrietta Street)

Opium could be mixed with brandy to make laudanum. (PROSE: The Eight Doctors)

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