1874 - 1875 CE
Anti-opium agitation heats up

The Anglo-Oriental Society for the Suppression of the Opium Trade is organized and heavily financed by the Quakers. The society united various religious groups and moral reformers disturbed by the British exploitation of the Chinese and began an organized crusade against the opium trade. Key messages included that Britain had forced opium on China, revenue is the only reason for continuing the trade, and opium physically and morally destroys the user.

The society published a regular newspaper, The Friend of China, which was circulated both in the United Kingdom and among missionary communities in China. It succeeded in bringing the anti-opium campaign into the public eye and increased opposition to the trade but, at this point, failed in attempts to get the British government to ban the opium trade.

Source: Austin, G.A. (1978). Perspectives on the History of Psychoactive Substance Use. NIDA.

Drugs: Opium (morphine, heroin, opioids)
Regions: UK (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland)
Topics: Cultural factors (social, religious, ritual), Health and social problems, Prohibition