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Opium poppy harvest

Opium poppy harvest

E770/1314

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Credit

PHILIPPE PSAILA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PSAILA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Opium poppy harvest. Truck emptying its load of harvested opium poppies (Papaver somniferum). This poppy is the source of opium, a narcotic resin that contains the alkaloids morphine and codeine. These are used by the pharmaceutical industry as painkillers (analgesics). Opium can be refined to yield pure heroin, an illegal drug that induces feelings of warmth and euphoria. Frequent use leads to an increase in tolerance and addiction. Photographed in France.

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