Drugs and Narcotics in History
This collection of new essays explores the complex and contested histories of drugs and narcotics in societies from ancient Greece to the present day. The Greek term pharmakon means both medicament and poison. The book shows how this verbal ambivalence encapsulates the ambiguity of man's use of chemically-active substances over the centuries to diminish pain, fight disease, and correct behaviour. 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.In these circumstances the status of drugs has often been highly contentious. While medical science has striven to unravel the properties of potent substances, drug users, the medical profession, public opinion and the state have been involved in demarcating 'proper use' and approved users--processes that have often led to violent conflicts. The boundary lines between use and abuse in society have been powerfully contested, while 'alternative' medicine has often sought to develop milder, purer, or more natural drugs. Clearly, these issues remain unresolved today: some highly addictive and dangerous substances such as cigarettes remain freely available, others are available only on prescription, while others are illegal and the objects of international contraband trade and the targets of 'drugs wars'.
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Notes on contributors page
The opium poppy in Hellenistic and Roman medicine
the introduction and global spread
Pharmacological experimentation with opium in
The regulation of the supply of drugs in Britain before 1868
Das Kaiserliche Gesundheitsamt Imperial Health Office
Changes in alcohol use among Navajos and other Indians
abuse in American history
Research and development in the UK pharmaceutical
AIDS drugs and history
Anomalies and mysteries in the War on Drugs
abuse action addiction AIDS alcohol already American animal appears Association authority became become blood Britain British caused century chemical clinical coffee common concern continued dangerous death Dioscorides discussion disease doctors drinking drug early effects eighteenth established Europe evidence example experimental experiments followed German habit Health History human important included increased Indian individual industry interest introduced Journal late later less London manufacture medicine narcotic natural Navajo noted observed official opiates opium opium poppy patients period person pharmaceutical pharmacists pharmacy physicians poisons poppy popular population practice preparations prescribing present problem profession public health published rates remained reported respect response result role scientific seems Service social Society substances suggests term theory Therapeutics tobacco trade traditional treatment United University vols York
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