PHILIPPE PSAILA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PSAILA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Opium poppy field patrol. Police officer keeping watch on an opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) field. Police officers will continue to patrol the field until the poppies have been harvested. 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, and it is for these reasons that police officers are needed to monitor opium poppy fields. Photographed in France.
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