1951 Black-and-White Animation on How Different Drugs Work

Last month, we were entertained by a 1970s "documentary" that explained the dangers of drugs in LEGO. Today, we turn to Drug Addiction, produced by Encyclopeadia Britannica's film division in 1951. Though most of it follows the classic "slippery-slope" narrative of Cold War-era anti-drug propaganda, it also features this stunning two-minute black-and-white animation on how heroin, opium, marijuana, and cocaine are derived and how they work.

Watch or download the full film, courtesy of the Internet Archive:

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This post also appears on Brain Pickings.

Presented by

Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings. She writes for Wired UK and GOOD, and is an MIT Futures of Entertainment Fellow.

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