By Jeremy Agnew
This booklet explores the position and effect of drink and medication (primarily opium) within the previous West, which for this publication is taken into account to be the US west of the Mississippi from the California gold rush of the 1840s to the remaining of the Western Frontier in approximately 1900. this era used to be the 1st time in American background that heavy consuming and drug abuse grew to become a massive social predicament. consuming used to be thought of to be an accredited 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 habit by way of ladies used to be average. This e-book offers the history of either elements and the way their use unfold around the West, first and foremost for medicinal purposes--but how overuse and abuse ended in the Temperance circulate and at last to nationwide Prohibition. This ebook stories the old fact of alcohol and opium use within the outdated West with no bias.
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Additional resources for Alcohol and Opium in the Old West: Use, Abuse and Influence
Tea was drunk by all social classes — at breakfast, dinner, and supper, and as a refreshing drink between meals. Chinese tea was considered to be the best. 12 Perversely, tea drinking became a problem for the British government because almost all the imported tea came from China. This placed Britain at a trade disadvantage, as tea imports had to be paid for in cash, which caused a large imbalance in trade. The problem was simple, but troublesome to the British. The Europeans, and later the Americans, wanted goods from China.
In reality, this level of drinking caused the muscles at the surface of the skin to relax and allowed the blood vessels in the skin to dilate further. Thus the individual lost even more heat as the ﬂow of blood underneath increased, making the drinker appear ﬂushed and red. This dilation of the capillaries in the skin also caused the drinker to lose more body heat, thus making him susceptible to dangerously low core body temperatures if he was exposed to the cold of winter. This could be a serious problem in the mining towns in the mountains or in the cold northern states of the West, such as Montana or Wyoming.
Mescal was a common drink around and south of the Mexican border. In 1880 a popular drink at the Cosmopolitan Bar in Tucson, Arizona, was mescal mixed with an equal amount of whiskey. At army posts in the Southwest, where whiskey was at times hard to obtain, soldiers might drink locally made mescal, sometimes called “Indian ﬁrewater” by the troops. TISWIN The Apache Indians of the Southwest also brewed an intoxicating beerlike drink called tiswin (sometimes spelled tizwin), that was made from fer- 48 Alcohol and Opium in the Old West mented, maize, wheat, or mesquite beans.