13 April, 2012

L is for Laudanum

You can find a full list of my A to Z challenge posts here. :)

Make your troubles float away...
For those of you who are new here, I write forensic fantasy novels, and they tend to pull no punches. As I worked through the events in the books, one of my major characters needed a way to face not only a daily grind of rapes, murders, and worse, but manage and minimize their reactions to the horrible things they've experienced. In short, they needed to cope. Like a lot of real people who self medicate with drugs and alcohol, this particular character turned to a narcotic. Laudanum.

It's an opiate derivative, similar to modern morphine, and it fit in well with my setting's timeline. This stuff used to be widely available in patent medicines and tonics. Makes me wonder how many opium addicts (by today's standards) existed in the 19th century when they could buy Laudanum and other opiates without any sort of restriction or prescription. It was even added to Absinthe to increase the high (oh, the fun of mixing narcotics and hallucinogens) and the side effects... wow.

It's nasty, yet incredibly awesome stuff, at least from a story teller standpoint. ;)  Just think of the fun things I can do to my characters!!


Jean said...

"Tend to pull no punches?" Folks, she's being modest here. Her fiction never pulls a punch (unless it's best for the story).

Krista Heiser said...

Jean, if this were Facebook and I could "like" your comment, I would.

Tam, I look forward to seeing where your imagination takes us with this.

mooderino said...

The daily grind of rapes can be very tiring. That's why I always end the day with a pipeful of laudnum. (do you smoke laudnum?).

new follower,
Moody Writing

Misha Gericke said...

Nope Mood. You drink it. Hehehehe. I know that because Wyatt Earp's wife was addicted to it in Tombstone (with Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday).