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The first reference to opium as a medication is in The Sumerian medical clay tablet (about 2100 BC). The Ebers Papyrus (dated to circa 1550 BC) mentions a medication that contained opium, it was used as a sedative for children. It’s believed that Hippocrates, the father of Medicine, prescribed poppy juice as a purgative, narcotic and to cure leucorrhea. Galen, another physician who lived in the Roman Empire, also prescribed it.
The recent history of opium is shown in our infographic.