The Mark of a Criminal: “Vag Addicts,” Police Power, and Civil Rights in Postwar America

Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from contributing editor Jordan Mylet, a doctoral candidate in history at the University of California, San Diego.  In 1950, twenty-eight-year old Bettye Coleman, a black Los Angeleno, was arrested by police for being an “addict” in public. Bettye lived close to the downtown Temple district, a predominantly Mexican-American neighborhood—and one thatContinue reading “The Mark of a Criminal: “Vag Addicts,” Police Power, and Civil Rights in Postwar America”

Drug consumption between public debate and political reforms in post-war Italy

Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from Maria Elena Cantilena, a PhD student in History at University of Trieste (Italy). Her research focuses on drug consumption in Italy during the 1960s and 1970s, exploring how its image changed in public opinion and medical debate, in the context of new legislative approaches. On 5th May 1954, theContinue reading “Drug consumption between public debate and political reforms in post-war Italy”

Chipping Away: Opioids, Autowork, and the UAW Yesterday and Today

Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from one of our newest contributing editors, Dr. Jeremy Milloy. Milloy is the W. P. Bell Postdoctoral Fellow at Mount Allison University. A scholar of work, capitalism, addiction/substance use disorder, and violence, he began studying substance use and the workplace while researching his first book, Blood, Sweat, and Fear: Violence atContinue reading “Chipping Away: Opioids, Autowork, and the UAW Yesterday and Today”

Treatment, as it exists, is treatment for the few

Editor’s Note:  Today’s post comes from contributing editor Brooks Hudson, a PhD student in history at Southern Illinois University. If you look at recent coverage of opioid epidemic, media outlets admit that in the past they added gasoline to the fire during the “crack epidemic” and want to apologize for those mistakes. The New York TimesContinue reading “Treatment, as it exists, is treatment for the few”

The Sociological Approach, Part 1

In an article recently published in the Social History of Alcohol and Drugs, Joseph Spillane has given me some clues on how to proceed in my own work. “Inside the Fantastic Lodge” is Spillane’s consideration of the networks, identity-making and social limitations revealed in Marilyn Bishop’s narration of her days as a young white heroinContinue reading “The Sociological Approach, Part 1”

Announcing the latest episode of Poinstcast!

The latest episode of Poinstcast is now available on Soundcloud for your listening pleasure! On this episode, Alex and I introduce a new segment, the Paper Chase, where we unpack the cultural meaning of even silly-sounding news from a not-so-bygone era. We end with a discussion of the “lovable drunk” television trope, particularly on The Bachelor andContinue reading “Announcing the latest episode of Poinstcast!”

Heroin: The Great Lie

Editor’s Note: This post is brought to you by guest blogger Liz Greene. Greene is a dog-loving, beard-envying history nerd from the beautiful city of trees, Boise, Idaho. You can catch up with her latest misadventures on Instant Lo or follow her on Twitter @LizVGreene. Like so many of our modern “wonder drugs”, heroin was bornContinue reading “Heroin: The Great Lie”

A “Gentler Drug War”

Editor’s Note: This post is brought to you by guest contributor Michael Brownrigg, a history Ph.D. student at Northwestern University focusing on American foreign relations. He is particularly interested in drug policy and the influence of US political culture on the nation’s efforts to regulate the global drug trade. Michael received a BA from the University ofContinue reading “A “Gentler Drug War””

Drugs on the Small Screen

Editor’s Note: This post is brought to you by guest contributor Michael Brownrigg. Enjoy! It is often said that we are in the midst of a new golden age of television. A remarkable abundance of compelling stories and indelible characters on the small screen has captivated American audiences, fostering new trends in how and whereContinue reading “Drugs on the Small Screen”

The Forgotten Drug War: Dorothy Sullivan, Informant (Chicago, 1941)

“There was not the least sign of social disorder in 1942” —Daniel Patrick Moynihan, speaking at the 100 Years of Heroin Conference, Yale University, 1998 Dorothy Sullivan was an informant for the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. On Tuesday, January 22, 1942, she was scheduled to testify in federal court in supportContinue reading “The Forgotten Drug War: Dorothy Sullivan, Informant (Chicago, 1941)”

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