Story: Drugs

An opium den in China

An opium den in China

This image of an opium den in Peking (Beijing) appeared in the Auckland Weekly News in 1900 just as there was growing social concern about opium consumption. Many Chinese had developed a habit of smoking opium, largely as result of British merchants bringing the drug in from India. Most of the Chinese miners who came to New Zealand had come from the port city of Canton (Guangzhou), which was exposed to trading influences, and because they were accustomed to using the drug they brought the habit with them to New Zealand.

Using this item

Auckland City Libraries - Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Reference: AWNS-19000810-3-3

Permission of Auckland City Libraries Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Drugs - Colonial drug-taking', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 27 November 2021)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 5 Sep 2013