Mind-Altering Drugs in History and Culture (exhibition)

The Wellcome Collection, London, England, is host to an exhibition called "High Society: Mind-Altering Drugs in History and Culture, November 11, 2010, to February 27, 2011.  A book with the same title by Mike Jay was published by the Psychedelic Press in November 2010.


Posted by David Fahey on November 4, 2010 at 07:26 PM in Drugs (general) | Permalink

Could the "War on Drugs" be getting closer to ending?

Here is the UK Guardian article suggesting just such a possibility.

Posted by Dave Trippel on August 8, 2010 at 06:48 PM in Drugs (general), Latin America, Law Enforcement, Licensing and Legislation, United States | Permalink

Plato, drug culture, ecstasy, and philosophy in ancient Greece (book)

Interview with Michael A. Rinella is available here. Rinella says the objective of the symposium was intoxication.  Ancient wine included what we today call "recreational drugs."  He is the author of Pharmakon: Plato, Drug Culture, and Identity in Ancient Athens (Lexington Books, 2010)

Posted by David Fahey on May 24, 2010 at 09:04 PM in Books, Drugs (general), Greece, Wine | Permalink

Reed College, drugs, and possible "crack house" liability

According to the New York Times, federal law enforcement officials are concerned about drug use at Reed College in Oregon after two students died of drug overdoses in two years.  The federal officials appear to have threatened the college with criminal and civil liability based on "crack house" legislation that penalizes those who permit drug use.  For details, see here.

Posted by David Fahey on April 27, 2010 at 08:46 AM in Drugs (general) | Permalink

The Schaffer Library of Drug Policy

This library continues to be a significant resource on the internet.  See the "history" drop down menu at the top of this page for access to scores of documents from throughout history.

Posted by Dave Trippel on April 12, 2010 at 10:50 PM in Drugs (general), Internet Resources, Libraries and Archives | Permalink

West Africa and the drug trade

Although Africa is neither a major producer or consumer of illicit drugs, weakly governed West African states have become important in the international drug trade.  For more, see here.

Posted by David Fahey on April 10, 2010 at 09:40 PM in Africa, Drugs (general) | Permalink

Plato, drug culture, and identity in ancient Athens (book)

Michael A. Rinella, Pharmakon: Plato, Drug Culture, and Identity in Ancient Athens (Lexington Books, forthcoming May 2010).

Table of Contents for Pharmakon: 

  • Introduction - The Pharmakon, Ecstasy, and Identity 

  • Part I. Plato and the Politics of Intoxication 
    • Chapter 1. Wine and the Symposion 
    • Chapter 2. The Symposion and the Question of Stasis 
    • Chapter 3. Plato's Reformulation of the Symposion 

  • Part II: The Pharmakon and the Defense of Philosophy 
    • Chapter 4. Drugs, Epic Poetry, and Religion 
    • Chapter 5. Socrates Accused 
    • Chapter 6. Socrates Rehabilitated 

  • Part III. Plato through the Prism of the Pharmakon 
    • Chapter 7. Medicine, Drugs, and Somatic Regimen 
    • Chapter 8. Magic, Drugs, and Noetic Regimen 
    • Chapter 9. Speech, Drugs, and Discursive Regimen 
    • Chapter 10. Philosophy's Pharmacy 
    • Afterword: Towards a New Ethics of the Pharmakon 

    Posted by David Fahey on March 5, 2010 at 07:29 AM in Books, Drugs (general), Greece | Permalink

    Irish war on drugs (book)

    Paul O'Mahony, The Irish War on Drugs: The Seductive Folly of Prohibition (Manchester UP, 2009).

    Posted by David Fahey on January 4, 2010 at 05:57 PM in Drugs (general), Ireland | Permalink

    Drugs and freedom (book)

    Toby Seddon, A History of Drugs: Drugs and Freedom in the Liberal Age (Routledge-Cavendish, 2009).  Below is information provided by the publisher.

    Toby Seddon is Senior Research Fellow in the School of Law at the University of Manchester where he is also Director of the Regulation, Security and Justice Research Centre. He is author of Punishment and Madness (Routledge-Cavendish).

    Why are some psychoactive substances regarded as ‘dangerous drugs’, to be controlled by the criminal law within a global prohibition regime, whilst others – from alcohol and tobacco, through to those we call ‘medicines’ – are seen and regulated very differently? A History of Drugs traces a genealogy of the construction and governance of the ‘drug problem’ over the past 200 years: calling into question some of the most fundamental ideas in this field: from ‘addiction’ to the very concept of ‘drugs’. At the heart of the book is the claim that it was with the emergence in the late eighteenth century of modern liberal capitalism, with its distinctive emphasis on freedom, that our concerns about the consumption of some of these substances began to grow. And, indeed, notions of freedom, free will and responsibility remain central to the drug question today. Pursuing an innovative inter-disciplinary approach, A History of Drugs provides an informed and insightful account of the origins of contemporary drug policy. It will be essential reading for students and academics working in law, criminology, sociology, social policy, history and political science.

    Table of Contents:

    1. Introduction: Drugs, freedom and liberalism 2. A Conceptual Map: Freedom, the ‘will’ and addiction 3. Opium, Regulation and Classical Liberalism: The Pharmacy Act 1868 4. Drugs, Prohibition and Welfarism: The Dangerous Drugs Act 1920 5. Drugs, Risk and Neo-liberalism: The Drugs Act 2005 6. Drugs as a Regulation and Governance Problem 7. Conclusions: Drugs and Freedom in the Liberal Age

    Posted by David Fahey on December 24, 2009 at 10:40 AM in Drugs (general) | Permalink

    Voluntary action and illegal drugs in Britain since the 1960s (book)

    Alec Mold and Virginia Berridge, Voluntarism, Health and Society since the 1960s: Voluntary Action and Illegal Drugs [Science, Technology and Medicine in Modern History series] (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2010).

    Posted by David Fahey on November 19, 2009 at 07:29 PM in Britain, Drugs (general) | Permalink