History of Alcohol and Drugs

History of Drugs

The first opium was cultivated 4000 B.C. The first texts about alcohol date back to 6000 B.C. The first chemical drugs was created in 1887: Amphetamine. Eleven year later, 1898, XTC was created.

Drugs have always been here. The discovery of drugs mostly took place accidental. Thus khat was discovered because shepherds noticed that their sheep became more active when they ate of the khat shrub. That’s why they tried it their selves.

For centuries Drugs have had three functions: a religious, a medical and a recreational function. Following you’ll find some key dates in the history of alcohol and drugs:

6000 B.C. The first Magic Mushrooms were discovered
5500 B.C. The first texts about alcohol were discovered
4000 B.C. The cultivation of opium in Iraq/Iran
3000 B.C. The first use of the peyote cactus by Native Americans
2737 B.C. A Chinese emperor writes about the healing effect of Cannabis
2500 B.C. Pictures of people which ate coca leaves in Peru were discovered
2000 B.C. Texts about people who were smoking tobacco were discovered
1400 B.C. Book from India speaks about the use of Cannabis during religious celebrations
700 B.C. Homerus describes the suppressed feelings about opium in the Odyssey
500 B.C. A book from India (Altharva-Veda) recommends Cannabis as a remedy for  fear
300 B.C. A Greek script warns everybody about the addictive effects of opium

81. Roman Emperor (Domitian Flavius​​) destroys half of all vineyards to counter the excessive use of alcohol
570. Birth of Muhammad. He forbids the use of wine. Opium is allowed
700. China meets Opium by Arab traders
850. The discovery of the coffee plant in Ethiopia

1200-1300. Beer production gets major boost in Europe through urbanization
1300. Drinking liquor leads to abuse. Closing times were introduced in England and Switzerland
1492. Columbus meets tobacco
1500. Portuguese bring Opium to China. It would be another 200 years before opium became popular in China
1600. Portuguese and the Dutch begin to import opium into China
1606. Hemp reached the United States. It is used for the manufacture of ropes and medicine
1624. Pope Urban V111 prohibits smoking on pain of excommunication

1710-1710. Gin epidemic in England. Production is constrained
1729. Chinese authorities want to restrict opium use
1730. Discovery of Ether
1776. Discovery of nitrous oxide
1804. German chemist isolates morphine from opium
1826. First moderation movement in the United States of America
1839. Chinese destroy opium stocks.
1840. French doctor writes about medicinal properties of cannabis
1840-1842. First Opium War. Englishmen attack China that wants to ban the opium trade. China is forced to allow trade
1850-1856. Second Opium War. Trade will continue
1851. First laws in the U.S. with the aim to reduce alcohol consumption
1855. Invention of the injection needle. Substances can be brought directly into the blood
1859. Cocaine is isolated from the coca leaf
1874. Discovery of heroin
1881. First liquor law in the Netherlands. Outlets for spirits are limited
1883. Bavarian soldiers get cocaine on medical advice so they can continue fighting for a longer time
1884. Freud published Uber Coca. He sees many medical applications for Cocaine
1886. In the United States a new drink came on the market, Coca Cola, which contains cocaine
1887. Amphetamine is first created for purely chemical purposes
1894. A British Royal Commission claims that opium and cannabis are harmless
1898. Bayer sells heroin as a cough medicine
1898. XTC is first created

1903. Coca Cola removes cocaine out of their drinks
1906. In China there are strict laws against opium abuse adopted
1911. First Opium Conference in The Hague, initiated by the United States. In response to problems in the United States around the use of opium
1912. Opium Convention of 1912. The Convention was the result of the first opium conference. In this Convention it was stipulated that cocaine and opiates only may be used for medical and scientific purposes
1912. MDMA (active ingredient in ecstasy) is first made
1914. Harrison Narcotic Act in the United States. This law offenses possession of drugs
1919. First Dutch Opium Act
1920-1933. Alcohol ban in the United States. Illegal liquor costs 35,000 lives
1928. Second Opium. Possession of drugs is now illegal. Also hemp now falls under the Opium Act.
1938. Hoffman discovered LSD
1940-1944. Amphetamine is prescribed by army doctors against fatigue

1950-1970. Amphetamine in the U.S. used as a tool to lose weight
1960. GHB is developed. Is first used as anesthetic
1962. Patent on Ketamine for pharmaceutical company Parke-Davis. Parke-Davis already produced PCP but this drug had too many side effects
1964. Official report in the U.S. that tobacco smoking is unhealthy
1972. First hashish coffeeshop in the Netherlands
1976. Modification Dutch Opium Act. The current law makes a distinction between drugs with an unacceptable risk, hard drugs which are placed on List 1, and drugs with a less severe risk, hashish and marijuana are on List 2
1980. Publication of guidelines including the sale of hashish and marijuana is allowed. Investigation by police had little priority. Begin of enormous expansion of coffee shops.
1984. 3.5% of injecting drug users infected with the HIV virus. A year later this had risen to 30%
1986. Start of ecstasy use, particularly in Ibiza and London.

1988. XTC is incorporated in the Netherlands Opium Act.
1993: Opening of first Smartshop
1994: Sales of mushrooms in smartshop
1996. Guidelines for coffeeshops to be strengthened. These are: no advertising, no hard drugs, no access to persons under 18, no sales of more than 5 grams per day
1996: Prohibition of sale of GHB in smart shops (from 8 May 1996)

1997. New policy on coffee shops in Amsterdam. Coffeeshops gets operating license.
1997. 2C-B is included in the Opium Act
2001. Sales of poppers is prohibited by the Ministry of Health. Poppers cause palpitations, anemia and headache.
2002. GHB (Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate) is included in the Opium Act. GHB is also subject to the Law on Medicines.
2003. Medicinal cannabis may be obtained through the pharmacy (September 2003)
2008. Sales and production of fresh magic mushrooms banned (December , 2008)

2008. The start of Magic Truffles!! They became popular after Magic Mushrooms were banned
2011. A new kind of truffle is created by the largest grower in The Netherlands, about twice as strong as other truffles (similar to magic mushrooms in strength). It’s called the Psilocybe hollandia, and sold here exclusively.
2012. Khat-prohibition in The Netherlands

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