The North Water: What is Laudanum?

The North Water: Colin Farrell and Jack O'Connell star in trailer

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The North Water is a thrilling adventure series on BBC Two that follows a crew of whale hunters across the Arctic. 

One of the members on board The Volunteer is veteran surgeon Patrick Sumner (played by Jack O’Connell), who wants to escape his military past. 

He is facing many internal battles and his anxiety only escalates when he clashes with Henry Drax (Colin Farrell), a psychotic harpoonist. 

Sumner, who is addicted to laudanum, has flashbacks to terrifying events from his military service in India. 

Fans are keen to know what laudanum is and how it can impact the mind and body of those who take it. 

Laudanum is an opium extract and comes in a reddish-brown liquid form.  It contains almost all of the opium alkaloids, such as morphine and codeine.

In the past, it was used to treat a variety of conditions and was mainly used as a pain medication and cough medicine. 

Today, laudanum is recognized as addictive and is strictly regulated in all parts of the world. 


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