The analytical and psychological interest of people like De Quincey and the French psychiatrist J.-J. Moreau de Tours, and their relationship to the substances that they sought to study, marks the beginning of a not entirely successful attempt by science to achieve some kind of agreement with these materials. In their work, they meant that intoxication, apparently, can imitate insanity – a serious hint that insanity and, in general, most mental illnesses are rooted in physical causes. Opium dreams were viewed as a kind of theater of imagination in wakefulness. And in this fascination with dreams there is a certain anticipation of the psychoanalytic methods of Freud and Jung; this fascination is felt in all the literature of the 19th century — among Goethe, Baudelaire, Mallarme, Huysmans, and Heine. This is the song of the unconscious sirens, which has not sounded since the time of the destruction of Eleusis,but expressed in Romanticism and among the Pre-Raphaelites as a pagan riot, often driven by appeal to opium. Minxes with a modestly downcast gaze from the series of Beardsley drawings or the more sombre labyrinth visions of Odilon Redon or Dante Gabriel Rosetti are the personification of this aesthetics.
As that aesthetics had a darker side, poppy chemistry began to produce more dangerous and potent derivatives in terms of addiction. A hypodermic syringe was invented in 1853, and since then opiate users have had a warning example of intravenous consuming morphine, severe addiction, an example that is sufficient to temper their addiction.
The XIX century was experiencing the selection and classification of an amazing variety of new means and stimulants, which brought two centuries of research and exploitation of vast lands. Tobacco consumption (in one form or another) has become widespread, especially among men, in all classes of society. Opium was abused less, but nevertheless it was a great many people, also from all walks of life. Distilled alcohol was produced and consumed in much larger quantities than ever before. In such a situation, the sober society emerged, and modern positions on the issue of drugs began to take shape. But the present abuse of synthetic substances and its result were still ahead – in the twentieth century.