Drugs, consumption and supply in Asia: the case of cocaine in colonial India

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article examines the market for cocaine in India during the early twentieth century and the efforts of the colonial state to control it. The British authorities issued regulations to prohibit the drug's use as early as 1900, and yet by the start of World War I, cocaine's appeal had become socially diverse and geographically wide. This account of a significant market for a powerful new drug suggests that Indian society was able to rapidly develop a demand for such products even when the colonial state had no part in their introduction. Indians used these new products in complex ways-as medicines, as tonics, and as intoxicants, albeit through the localized medium of the everyday paan leaf. The study points to a reconsideration of a number of debates about the history of drugs and modern medicines in Asia.
LanguageEnglish
Pages345-62
Number of pages283
JournalJournal of Asian Studies
Volume66
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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medicine
supply
India
drug
market
First World War
drug use
appeal
twentieth century
regulation
demand
history
Cocaine
Colonial India
Asia
Drugs
Medicine
Colonial State
Society
World War I

Keywords

  • drugs
  • consumption
  • drugs supply
  • asia
  • cocaine
  • colonial india

Cite this

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Drugs, consumption and supply in Asia: the case of cocaine in colonial India. / Mills, J.H.

In: Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 66, No. 2, 2007, p. 345-62.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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