In this photo taken in mid 2007 and released by American author Steven Martin, Martin himself smokes opium in the living room of his apartment in Chinatown in Bangkok when he had a twenty-pipe-per-day opium habit. One Halloween night, in a blacked-out bedroom in Bangkok's Chinatown, Steven Martin went into physical and mental free fall. High fever oscillated with shivering cold, gut-wrenching stomach pains brought on waves of diarrhea. Howling in agony, he leapt around the room in a kind of devil dance, his body smeared with oily sweat, vomit, mucus and feces. "Opium Fiend, A 21st Century Slave to a 19th Century Addiction'' opens with this harrowing description of the author trying to cut himself off from a drug that had taken over his life as a freelance journalist in Southeast Asia. Although Martin doesn't advocate the use of opium, his memoir is no simple cautionary tale, nor was he your ordinary backpacker junkie, such as still roam this region of cheap and plentiful drugs. (AP Photo/Jack Barton, Courtesy of Steven Martin) MADATORY CREDIT, EDITORIAL USE ONLY, NO SALES

Associated Press
In this photo taken in mid 2007 and released by American author Steven Martin, Martin himself smokes opium in the living room of his apartment in Chinatown in Bangkok when he had a twenty-pipe-per-day opium habit. One Halloween night, in a blacked-out bedroom in Bangkok's Chinatown, Steven Martin went into physical and mental free fall. High fever oscillated with shivering cold, gut-wrenching stomach pains brought on waves of diarrhea. Howling in agony, he leapt around the room in a kind of devil dance, his body smeared with oily sweat, vomit, mucus and feces. "Opium Fiend, A 21st Century Slave to a 19th Century Addiction''  opens with this harrowing description of the author trying to cut himself off from a drug that had taken over his life as a freelance journalist in Southeast Asia. Although Martin doesn't advocate the use of opium,  his memoir is no simple cautionary tale, nor was he  your ordinary backpacker junkie, such as still roam this region of cheap and plentiful drugs. (AP Photo/Jack Barton, Courtesy of Steven Martin) MADATORY CREDIT, EDITORIAL USE ONLY, NO SALES
In this photo taken in mid 2007 and released by American author Steven Martin, Martin himself smokes opium in the living room of his apartment in Chinatown in Bangkok when he had a twenty-pipe-per-day opium habit. One Halloween night, in a blacked-out bedroom in Bangkok's Chinatown, Steven Martin went into physical and mental free fall. High fever oscillated with shivering cold, gut-wrenching stomach pains brought on waves of diarrhea. Howling in agony, he leapt around the room in a kind of devil dance, his body smeared with oily sweat, vomit, mucus and feces. "Opium Fiend, A 21st Century Slave to a 19th Century Addiction'' opens with this harrowing description of the author trying to cut himself off from a drug that had taken over his life as a freelance journalist in Southeast Asia. Although Martin doesn't advocate the use of opium, his memoir is no simple cautionary tale, nor was he your ordinary backpacker junkie, such as still roam this region of cheap and plentiful drugs. (AP Photo/Jack Barton, Courtesy of Steven Martin) MADATORY CREDIT, EDITORIAL USE ONLY, NO SALES
View Comments (1)