Contextualizing the First Annual “We Agnostics and Free Thinkers” AA Convention, Nov 6-8, 2014

Editor’s Note: This post is brought to you by the venerable Trysh Travis, former Points managing editor. A friend with a drinking problem has been going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings lately, and finding them not very helpful. “I can’t stand all the God talk,” she explained. She was raised in an Islamic country where God is routinelyContinue reading “Contextualizing the First Annual “We Agnostics and Free Thinkers” AA Convention, Nov 6-8, 2014″

Operation Understanding: Disclosure and Stigma in 1976

Editors Note: This post is from Contributing Editor Michelle McClellan. In May 1976, more than fifty people—celebrities and professionals from various fields—announced at a carefully staged press conference that they had recovered from alcoholism. The event had been organized by the National Council on Alcoholism (today the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence) asContinue reading “Operation Understanding: Disclosure and Stigma in 1976”

In Search of Damp Feminism; Or, What Can We Learn from Fat Studies

Editor’s Note: This post is from contributing editor Michelle McClellan. In my last post I reflected on the complicated backstory of feminism, intoxication, and vulnerability, specifically in relation to campus culture today and efforts to prevent sexual assault. I speculated whether there could be such a thing as “damp feminism,” a way to allow, evenContinue reading “In Search of Damp Feminism; Or, What Can We Learn from Fat Studies”

Drinking and Sexual Assault: The Third Rail of Health Education

(Editor: Today’s post is from Points contributing editor Michelle McClellan.) It’s back-to-school time, and that means talking to college students about the dangers of binge drinking and the risks of sexual assault. And while parents, health care providers and social science researchers might think those topics go together, health education experts and university administrators callContinue reading “Drinking and Sexual Assault: The Third Rail of Health Education”

Mom’s Getting Smashed: Alcoholism, Recovery and Motherhood as a Coming-of-Age Tale

Editor’s Note: This article is by contributing editor Michelle McClellan. Smashed (2012) is the story of a young woman named Kate in present-day Los Angeles who confronts her excessive drinking through the Alcoholics Anonymous fellowship. She gains sobriety, although her marriage disintegrates and she is fired from her job in the process. The overall narrativeContinue reading “Mom’s Getting Smashed: Alcoholism, Recovery and Motherhood as a Coming-of-Age Tale”

Call for Papers: The Alcohol and Drugs History Society Conference 2015

Call for Papers Borders, Boundaries & Contexts:  Defining Spaces in the History of Alcohol & Drugs Papers and panel proposals are invited for an international conference on the history of alcohol and drugs to be held at Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, USA on June 18–21, 2015.  Panel proposals (3 x 20-minute papers)Continue reading “Call for Papers: The Alcohol and Drugs History Society Conference 2015”

Recent News Roundup: D.C.-Criminalized Edition

As historians, we often rely on past journalistic accounts to interpret events, so it makes sense for us to also pay attention to how drugs are depicted in the news today. Not only does charting the life cycle of current drug stories place previous depictions into historical context, but it can also help us understand where we areContinue reading “Recent News Roundup: D.C.-Criminalized Edition”

“An Unmotivated and Less-Productive Populace”: Views of Drug Use in the Era of Legalization

Originally this post was going to summarize the arguments of two of the most prominent mid-century American intellectual historians and how they regarded changing notions of juvenile behavior as it involved the use of illegal drugs. But then I received something rather incredible in the mail that changed my idea for this post completely. MyContinue reading ““An Unmotivated and Less-Productive Populace”: Views of Drug Use in the Era of Legalization”

In Memoriam: Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin (1925-2014)

We’re sure that most readers of Points are already familiar with Sasha Shulgin and are aware of his passing on June 2. But the death of the man responsible for popularizing MDMA in the United States cannot go unremarked upon, especially as the slew of related news reports are bringing up important questions about theContinue reading “In Memoriam: Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin (1925-2014)”

“The Drug Store of the Future”: Prohibition and Medicalization

A few weeks ago I had spent a couple of hours surfing the National Institute of Health’s fascinating online library, Images of the History of Medicine (IHM). There I came across an image that surprised me with how relevant its message about prohibition and the subsequent medicalization of banned substances was, even now, 132 yearsContinue reading ““The Drug Store of the Future”: Prohibition and Medicalization”

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