Updated 15 July 2019

FEATURE DOCUMENTARY: Addicted to pleasure - Opium

Take a trip to the River Clyde in Glasgow and discover how opium – a substance derived from a simple plant – was turned into a hugely profitable commodity, along with how so many became addicted.

Many don't realise just how much we rely on opium and the drugs we derive from it – drugs which have the power to both relieve and inflict pain.

Thousands of people have used opium in some way – many have had controlled, monitored doses of medication, while others have fallen into the dangerous clutches of addiction.

Brian Cox went on a journey to uncover the rich, provocative history of opium and to discover how a simple plant became a hugely profitable global commodity.

Image credit: iStock