‘Bridgerton’ Season 2: This Regency-era Drug Got Benedict High as a Kite
The Bridgerton world takes place in Regency-era London. With ornate dresses, jewels, and luxurious parties, Bridgerton Season 2 also showcased the era’s commonly used drugs. Even the Queen herself was privy to using a ground-up version of tobacco. Colin Bridgerton helps Benedict ease his nerves with a suspicious black powder in the season. The drug in question in Bridgerton Season 2 would not surprise fans.
[Warning: This article contains spoilers for Bridgerton Season 2.]
Benedict needs help to calm down in ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2
Some of the most pivotal scenes in Bridgerton Season 2 occur when the Sharmas are invited a few days early to the Bridgerton country estate. While Anthony and Kate are stuck in their world of complicated love seen during the Pall Mall, Benedict has his own problems.
He is still trying to find his way and decided to apply to a prestigious art school in London. Benedict has always been the more carefree Bridgerton sibling with a talent for art. While having tea with Colin, he expresses his worries. Colin decides to help his brother by spiking his tea with a drug in Bridgerton Season 2.
Colin sprinkles a dark purple-colored powder in Benedict’s tea and says, “Worldy travelers use it as a way to open their minds and transcend ordinary anxieties.” Benedict is revolted by the smell of the powder but drinks the tea regardless.
He thinks the powder has had no effect and dumps a heaping portion of the drug into his tea. At dinner with the Sharmas, Benedict is high as a kite off the drug. Later on, he is painting and feels enlightened thanks to the drug. When he receives an acceptance letter for the art school, he tries to jump out the window.
The powdered drug in ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2 was likely opium
Recreational use of a drug is not a new concept in historical period series like Bridgerton Season 2. Women’s Health spoke with Lucas Richert, Ph.D., a historian of drugs and medicines at the University of Wisconsin—Madison School of Pharmacy.
Richert explains many of the high class used psychedelic drugs. The drug Benedict and Colin are ingesting is ground opium. While there are other psychedelic drugs, opium is one of the few ground into a powder.
“It wouldn’t surprise me at all that wealthy elites would carry around opium,” said Richert. TheTab explains opium is derived from the sap of the opium poppy. “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,” explained TheTab.
Richert explains there were no set drug laws back in the Regency era. Drug usage was common among different social classes, and the type of drug varied depending on wealth. During the time, tonics contained the drug. “Opium mixed with alcohol were said to treat coughs, colds, and respiratory diseases,” said Richert. It is no surprise that one of the most respected members of the ton, like Colin, got his hands on opium.
Luke Thompson had a laugh during his character’s tea scene
Luke Thompson plays the lovable role of Benedict Bridgerton. When speaking with EW, Thompson recounts filming the tea and opium drug scene with Luke Newton in Bridgerton Season 2.
“It’s such a gorgeous moment. When I read it, I thought it’s one of those moments that makes this show great in the sense that it’s got a modern feel in that you feel like it’s something that two brothers would do nowadays, but transposed into Regency,” said Thompson.
In episode three, it is comical for the audience to know what Colin and Benedict did. While at dinner, Benedict is giggly, comical, relaxed, and even flirty. The Sharmas and guests have no idea what is happening, but Colin does. He looks at his brother with worry about being caught.