This is what was actually in Benedict’s tea in Bridgerton season two
Regency England was pretty chill about drugs
*Contains spoilers for Bridgerton season two*
Though the sex may have dwindled in season two of Bridgerton, Netflix seriously amped up the drugs and alcohol scenes. The Bridgerton brothers are hardly seen without a drink in their hands, Queen Charlotte has a habit of snorting tobacco in the later episodes and Benedict gets high on a suspicious powder mixed in with his tea.
During episode three of the new season, the Bridgertons depart to the countryside and whilst the rest of the family get to relaxing, Benedict is stressing out over his application to the art academy. In order to ease his nerves Colin suggests the two indulge in a drug he found during his time in Greece. Colin puts a little into both their tea cups and after not feeling the promised effects after one minute of drinking, Benedict empties the entire bag into his cup. Unsurprisingly he is very high throughout the episode and at one point looks as if he is going to jump out of a window.
So what was the exact drug Colin put in Benedict’s tea?
In episode three Colin promises the drug he puts in their tea will help Benedict clear his mind and even the smallest of doses will work in producing the effect.
Historian Lucas Richert told Women’s Health the drug the boys had was likely to be opium powder and during the 1800s, in which Bridgerton is set, it would be common for wealthy people to be carrying it.
He said: “It wouldn’t surprise me at all that wealthy elites would carry around opium.”
What is opium?
Opium comes from the sap of the opium poppy and has been used since the ancient Greeks to help people sleep and relive pain. Heroin, morphine and codeine are all made from opium.
It is a depressant drug and therefore slows down the messaging between your brain and the rest of your body. It causes euphoria, relaxation, slower breathing and a lower heart rate.
During the 1700s the British conquered a region of India known for being a big opium poppy grower. They began smuggling opium from India to China using the East India Company.
For the elite they were able to get their hands on gold coated opium pills and tonics with opium in.
What were the laws around drugs in the 1800s?
Unlike today there were no laws in place to prohibit drug use in Regency England and according to Richert nearly everyone was doing it. So apart from a potential telling off from his mumma Bridgerton, Benedict was in trouble for putting opium in his tea.
These drugs were often mixed with alcohol to treat cold and coughs, as well as being used for recreation. The working class was said to use drugs to deal with their dull work and the elite used it to escape their boredom.
Richert said: “There was a pretty wide open marketplace where people who had that high-level status could gain access to drugs that suited their class.
“They were a way of dealing with the drudgery, for the working class at least, and the boredom associated with the higher classes.”
Season two of Bridgerton is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.