UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 07:  Laudanum consists of opium dissolved in alcohol. It was first introduced by a Swiss physician named Paracelsus in the 16th century, but became popular in the 19th century as a treatment for a wide variety of ailments, and particularly as a painkiller. Laudanum�s addictive character was not initially realised, but by Victorian times it was a widely consumed narcotic. Well-known literary figures including Shelley, Byron, Coleridge and Dickens were habitual users of laudanum. Some of Coleridge�s finest poems are reputed to have been written while under the influence of the drug.  (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)