Addicted to Pleasure

Actor Brian Cox reveals the rich and controversial past of sugar, alcohol, tobacco and opium to uncover how the commercial exploitation of these products hooked the world.

The first film in this series looks at how sugar cane fuelled a consumer revolution but is now responsible for serious ailments.

Sugar has crept into all areas of our daily diet, from the sweet treats we award ourselves to family essentials such as pre-packaged loaves of bread.

We know that too much sugar is not good for us, but we are hooked, and sugar is now so ubiquitous it is hard to believe there was a time when it was not readily available.

We learn the origins and history of modern-day opium addiction. Opium is a highly addictive narcotic acquired from the opium poppy seed pod. Heroin is derived from the morphine alkaloid found in opium and is roughly 2-3 times more potent.

The third film in the series reveals how smoking helped kick-start the British Empire and created a market of addicts.

In the final film of Addicted to Pleasure, Cox reveals how whisky has shaped Scotland’s hard-drinking reputation.





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  1. Appreciate it. Quite a lot of tips. best online essay writing services best essay writing service reviews best law essay writing service uk

  2. Worth watching, amazing doc!

  3. clearly showed the side effect of addiction to opium…surely it can give pleasure in that moment of smoking, but it damages the brain that users are being unable to feel real pleasure in life…

  4. Yay! Another BBC doc.
    Contains 4 episodes, each an hour long, hosted by Brian Cox, an actor I’m not familiar with. We follow him around the world as he interviews historians and scientists.
    I learned lots of interesting tidbits, like tobacco was first grown in Peru.
    Brian is an outgoing older chap in rumpled clothes, who adds anecdotes from his own childhood memories in Dundee, Scotland where he grew up. He’s very chatty. My only complaint being he tends to interrupt or talk over the interviewees. I wished he would have let them finish what they were going to say.
    Aside from that, I enjoyed each episode, while I puffed away on my cigarettes; wishing I could quit!

  5. Great mustache