By Toby Seddon
Why are a few psychoactive elements considered as ‘dangerous drugs’, to be managed by way of the felony legislation inside a world prohibition regime, when others – from alcohol and tobacco, via to these we name ‘medicines’ – are obvious and controlled very otherwise? A historical past of gear lines a family tree of the development and governance of the ‘drug challenge’ over the last two hundred years, calling into query one of the most primary principles during this box: from ‘addiction’ to the very thought of ‘drugs’. on the middle of the e-book is the declare that it was once with the emergence within the overdue eighteenth century of contemporary liberal capitalism, with its distinct emphasis on freedom, that our matters concerning the intake of a few of those elements started to grow. And, certainly, notions of freedom, loose will and accountability stay imperative to the drug query this day. Pursuing an cutting edge inter-disciplinary process, A historical past of substances presents an educated and insightful account of the origins of up to date drug coverage. it will likely be crucial examining for college students and lecturers operating in legislations, criminology, sociology, social coverage, historical past and political technological know-how.
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Extra resources for A History of Drugs: Drugs and Freedom in the Liberal Age
For Edwards, this was a way of resolving an otherwise difﬁcult theological problem: how to reconcile the Calvinist belief in the essential ‘fallenness’ of human nature with the wish to hold individuals morally responsible for their actions. By separating ‘will’ from ‘desire’, it allowed him to argue that human beings choose how to act, and therefore bear full moral responsibility for those choices, but that the indelible taint of Original Sin tends to make us desire to act against God by sinning.
The great publichealth pioneer, Edwin Chadwick, identiﬁed issues such as clean water supply, drainage and sewerage as the fundamentals to be addressed and he proposed ambitious civil-engineering solutions. His 1842 report on the Sanitary Conditions of the Labouring Population of Great Britain was a landmark in the development of public health (Chadwick, 1842). Chadwick did refer to opium use in this report, albeit brieﬂy, but, as Berridge (Berridge and Edwards, 1981: 77–78) suggests, it was primarily the medical profession, and especially doctors, who began to raise the problem of opium poisonings in the 1850s and 1860s.
It came to be viewed as one speciﬁc instance or example of a character defect requiring special intervention for affected individuals. Garland (1985: 217–18) describes the establishment of inebriate reformatories under the Inebriates Act of 1898 which enabled a 28 A History of Drugs new way of dealing with ‘habitual drunkards’ by providing for their detention in these new institutions for the speciﬁc purpose of treatment and reform (see also Johnstone, 1996). He notes how this model of ‘special treatment’ for a criminogenic disorder provided a blueprint for subsequent measures targeted at a range of other groups, including vagrants and the ‘feeble-minded’ (1985: 218).
A History of Drugs: Drugs and Freedom in the Liberal Age by Toby Seddon
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