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date: 04 December 2022

Drug Use, Trade, and Policy in Africalocked

Drug Use, Trade, and Policy in Africalocked

  • Neil CarrierNeil CarrierUniversity of Bristol
  •  and Gernot KlantschnigGernot KlantschnigUniversity of Bristol


Drugs have a long history in Africa, despite the continent not being as associated with such psychoactive substances as other regions. This psychoactive history in Sub-Saharan Africa can be traced from the earliest evidence for the use of indigenous substances (including alcoholic drinks, khat and kola) to the arrival of imported drugs such as cannabis, distilled spirits, and tobacco and to more recent drug use changes. The colonial period and the era of drug prohibition in the 20th century was a time when the very idea of a “drug” with all its modern connotations took root in Africa, as well as the more recent concern with drug trafficking and consumption through the continent. The history of drugs—their production, trade, and consumption—thus resonates strongly with the wider social, political, and economic history of the continent, and such resonances are also important when considering current and future policy toward such substances in an era when such policy is in flux globally.


  • Economic History

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