There are many criticisms levelled against alcohol and opium. However, the two are very different in their action. Under the effects of alcohol a person becomes a rowdy, whereas opium makes the addict dull and lethargic. He/she becomes even sleepy and incapable of doing anything useful. The evil effects of alcohol strike the eye every day, but those of opium are not so obvious. Anyone who wishing to see its devastating effect should got to Assam or Orissa provinces. Thousands have fallen victims to this intoxicant in those areas. They give one the impression of living on the verge of death. Though possess a good physique, but one addicted to opium look miserable and more dead than alive. An opium addict will stoop to anything in order to procure his dose of opium.
Trade in opium was obviously an immoral one and yet it went on flourishing. A thing of this type which simply ruins people should not be tolerated for a single minute.
After having statement on opium as an intoxicant, it must be admitted that its place in Materia Medica is incontestable. It is impossible to do without this drug as a medical agent. But that can be no reaason for using it as intoxicant. Opium is a well-known poison and its use as an intoxicant should be strictly prohibited.
Source: Key to Health, M.K. Gandhi (1948)