The Outbreak Narrative: What has changed this time around?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Points is delighted to welcome past guest contributor, Jessica Diller Kovler (check out her previous post here). Kovler is part of the History of Science program at Harvard University and currently teaches at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the City University of New York. Her work has appeared in The New YorkContinue reading “The Outbreak Narrative: What has changed this time around?”

A brief commentary on comments or, “we will figure this shit out”

youtube comment: “Addiction is such a vague term” reply: “Disease is also a vague term…we can spend hours picking apart words and meanings” It is a truth universally acknowledged, that an author who wants to remain in possession of her sanity must avoid reading the comments section of anything she writes. If the internet isContinue reading “A brief commentary on comments or, “we will figure this shit out””

Brides and Booze: The Alcoholic Wife in Mid-Century Pulp Fiction

“How should he handle his alcoholic wife,” asks the lurid cover of the 1960 novel Alcoholic Wife by G.G. Revelle. “Beat her? Cater to her inflamed desires? Overlook her drunken intimacies with other men? Desert her for his seductive mistress?” With a retail price of 35 cents, the volume helpfully included a list of otherContinue reading “Brides and Booze: The Alcoholic Wife in Mid-Century Pulp Fiction”

Complete Quarterly Journal of Inebriety (1876-1914) Now Available Online

Editor’s note: This is an exciting development for researchers in addiction history and a welcome contribution from Weiner and White. After more than a decade of persistent searching and meticulous collecting, a team led by historian William L. White and Hazelden Library Manager Barbara Weiner has acquired and digitized all 141 issues of the QuarterlyContinue reading “Complete Quarterly Journal of Inebriety (1876-1914) Now Available Online”

Does “Public Health” Really Want To Own Addiction?

Editor’s Note: Guest blogger and medical anthropologist Kim Sue returned from a recent conference entitled “From Punishment to Wellness: A Public Health Approach to Women and the War on Drugs” with some questions about the coherence of the public health paradigm. To celebrate the release of a joint report published by the New York AcademyContinue reading “Does “Public Health” Really Want To Own Addiction?”

The Authority of What Experience?

In most cases, people gain expertise through direct experience. This is not true when it comes to addiction, where legitimate expertise is derived from a lack of direct experience. There are many reasons for this, including cultural investment in educational prestige, faith in systems of authority, resentment of those who take their pleasure in whatContinue reading “The Authority of What Experience?”

Setting the Record Straight, Part 5: A Disease They Didn’t Have

Editor’s note: Today marks the final installment of guest blogger Marcus Chatfield’s eye-opening exploration of the role that peer-reviewed research played in facilitating the survival of Straight Inc. into the 1990s, as well as its ongoing legacy in coercive youth drug abuse treatment. In the 1989 Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment article “Outcome of a UniqueContinue reading “Setting the Record Straight, Part 5: A Disease They Didn’t Have”

Setting the Record Straight, Part 2

Editor’s note: Today guest blogger Marcus Chatfield continues his series on Straight, Inc. and the research it used to burnish its reputation in the 1980s. As part of my research I sent a questionnaire to 12 former clients of Straight, some of whom I was in treatment with. My purpose was to collect testimony thatContinue reading “Setting the Record Straight, Part 2”

Confessions of an Historian of Secrecy, Science, and the Self

Editor’s note: We continue our celebration of the 40th anniversary of the publication of David F. Musto’s book with a contribution from cultural historian and American Studies scholar Timothy A. Hickman, whose first book, The Secret Leprosy of Modern Days, reconstructs (and deconstructs) the entrepreneurial therapeutics of the late 19th century historical world inhabited byContinue reading “Confessions of an Historian of Secrecy, Science, and the Self”

‘The American Disease’ Turns Forty

Editor’s Note: This spring marks 40 years since the first publication of The American Disease: Origins of Narcotic Control, the groundbreaking book by David F. Musto (1936-2010). In honor of this anniversary, Nancy D. Campbell has organized an online symposium at Points this week on Musto’s book and its impact, featuring leading drug historians. TheContinue reading “‘The American Disease’ Turns Forty”

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