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Drugs and Narcotics in History

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Overview

This collection of essays explores the complex and contested histories of drugs and narcotics in societies from ancient Greece to the present day. It shows that the major substances so used, from herbs of the field to laboratory-produced synthetic medicines, have a healing potential, and have been widely employed both within and outside the medical profession. Many of these substances, if taken improperly, are also highly toxic or even lethally poisonous. Some, being mood-influencing and habit-forming, are open to abuse and lead to addiction and are even objects of international contraband trade and the targets of "drug wars."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The essays are informed, incisive, and reflective, each one historically valuable, each presenting its subject in a broad social and intellectual context. Each may contain lessons useful in today's confrontation with a continuing problem." New England Journal of Medicine

"...[the] essays are fascinating, erudite and illuminating...a worthwhile endeavor for the compulsive history reader." Journal of the American Medical Association

"Edited books rarely display the uniform excellence found in Drugs and Narcotics In History. It is both a selective history of medicine and an insightful introduction to the place of drugs in Western society. The editors deserve praise for the range of topics and for their deft editorial hand...That harm-reduction policies will suffer in the process is the implicit lesson throughout this superb book. Drugs and Narcotics in History deserves the widest possible audience." The Historian

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521585972
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Table of Contents

Notes on contributors; Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. The opium poppy in Hellenistic and Roman medicine John Scarborough; 2. Exotic substances: the introduction and global spread of tobacco coffee cocoa tea and distilled liquor sixteenth to eighteenth centuries Rudi Matthee; 3. Pharmacological experimentation with opium in the eighteenth century Andreas-Holger Maehle; 4. The regulation of the supply of drugs in Britain before 1868 S. W. F. Holloway; 5. Das Kaiserliche Gesundheitsamt (Imperial Health Office) and the chemical industry in Germany during the Second Empire: partners or adversaries? Erika Hickel; 6. From all-purpose anodyne to marker of deviance: physicians' attitudes towards opiates in the United States of America from 1890 to 1940 Caroline Jean Acker; 7 Changes in alcohol use among Navajos and other Indians of the American Southwest Stephen J. Kunitz and Jerrold E. Levy; 8. The drug habit: the association of the word 'drug' with abuse in American history John Parascandola; 9. Research and development in the UK pharmaceutical industry from the nineteenth century to the 1960s Judy Slinn; 10. AIDS drugs and history Virginia Berridge; 11. Anomalies and mysteries: the 'War on Drugs' Ann Dally.

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