Drugs and Narcotics in History
Roy Porter, Mikulas Teich
Cambridge University Press, 1995 - History - 227 pages
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'.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
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 Off1ce
Changes in alcohol use among Navajos and other Indians
abuse in American history
AIDS drugs and history
abuse AIDS alcohol alcohol-related alkaloids Allen & Hanburys American animal Association Baker became blood Boots the Chemists Britain British Chemical Industry chemist and druggist cirrhosis clinical coffee coffeehouses Crumpe death Dioscorides disease doctors doses drinking drug addicts drug habit drug policy early effects of opium eighteenth century essay Europe example experimental experiments Federal Archives Koblenz Galen German Glaxo guilds Harrison Act heroin History Ibid important included Index Medicus Indian Health Service individual Journal Koblenz Kunitz laboratory latex London manufacture Materia Medica medicine Merck misuse Mithridatium modern morphine narcotic Navajo nineteenth century opiates opium poppy patients pharma pharmaceutical industry Pharmaceutical Society pharmacists pharmacological pharmacopoeia pharmacy physicians poisons poppy capsule popular population practitioners preparations prescribing problem public health rates remedies reported role social substances term drug theory Therapeutics tobacco trade traditional treatment vols Wellcome Wellmann Whytt word drug