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Opium poppy harvest

Opium poppy harvest

E770/1317

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Credit

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

Caption

Opium poppy harvest. Worker standing in a large hanger. Pellets of harvested opium poppies (Papaver somniferum) are being poured in (upper left). The pellets prevent the poppies from fermenting while in stroage and makes them easier to transport. The opium 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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