For thousands of years, humans have sought out pleasure. Unfortunately, some of those pleasures, both in the past and today, can bring about harmful side effects and the potential for dangerous addiction. Exploring the extensive history of drug addiction and abuse can reveal that while this isn't a new phenomenon, it\u2019s still an epidemic that needs to be addressed. \r\n\r\n \t Opium May be the Oldest Documented Drug\r\n\r\nDrug abuse might have its earliest origins in Mesopotamia, where the Sumerians referred to opium as the \u201cplant of joy.\u201d Although there is no confirmed use of opium as a recreational drug, the fact that it goes by that name certainly implies that it was used for its powerful highs. \r\n\r\nAccording to the DEA Museum opium demand increased over time. The Sumerians passed opium on to the Assyrians and later the Egyptians. It reached the Mediterranean and later the Far East, where it played a tragic but pivotal role in what would become the Chinese Opium Wars.\r\n\r\n \t Coca Use Stretches Back for Millennia \r\n\r\nDrugs like powdered and crack cocaine are derived from the coca plant. Although these drugs are modern problems, coca use has been around since 2,000 B.C. South Americans would chew the leaves of the coca plant in order to alleviate pain or to get rid of hunger pangs when on long hunting expeditions. \r\n\r\n \t Cannabis' Introduction to America\r\n\r\nWhen the Spanish explorers came to the New World, they brought with them a range of plants. One of these was Cannabis Sativa, which is the base of marijuana. The plant was introduced in the 16th century, and it sparked the hemp industry in much of the American South.\r\n\r\n \t Morphine and Injections Appear on the Scene\r\n\r\nMorphine was used as a medicine in the early 1800s. When the hypodermic needle and syringe were made available, morphine injections became possible. Unfortunately, this more direct administration of the drug led to more addictions, particularly for Civil War soldiers who were treated with morphine on the battlefield.\r\n\r\n \t Congresses Acts to Prevent Unlawful Drug Use\r\n\r\nUntil 1970, American drug laws weren't standardized or up to date. In 1970, Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act to limit drug abuse and addictions in the United States.\r\n\r\nDrug abuse may not be new, but addiction has\u2014and always will be\u2014difficult to deal with. For recovery and treatment options, consider Beaches Recovery in Jacksonville, Florida. Call <a href='tel:8666050532'>866.605.0532</a>\u00a0for more information on treatment plans and your personal road to sobriety.