The Pharmacological Era

Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from contributing editor Brooks Hudson, a history PhD student at Southern Illinois University. Psychologist Stanton Peele refers to the time we’re living in as a “pharmacological era,” one where “drug use, both approved and unapproved, is widespread, almost universal.” Currently, it’s dealt with through regulation and prohibition. Dr. Peele argues:Continue reading “The Pharmacological Era”

Fiction Points: Eileen Cronin

Eileen Cronin is a writer and clinical psychologist. Her book Mermaid: A Memoir of Resilience (2014) centers on her search for the truth about her body and the role that the drug thalidomide played in its shape, her childhood in a large Catholic family, her mother’s mental illness, her marriage, and her own struggles with alcohol. In additionContinue reading “Fiction Points: Eileen Cronin”

Will I Be A Dope Doctor When I Grow Up?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Points is delighted to welcome Kim Sue, a previous contributor (check out her earlier posts here and here), medical anthropologist, and dual degree MD/PhD candidate at Harvard University. On the heels of Points’ recent posts about the difficulties of reconciling clinical and scholarly perspectives on addiction treatment and the media frenzy about the recentContinue reading “Will I Be A Dope Doctor When I Grow Up?”

Old Ideas for a New Era: On Reading Sam Quinones

Sam Quinones and I share an affinity for this startling fact: more Americans now die of drug overdoes than car crashes. I often say this when I am trying to convince someone that it’s important to study the drug wars; Quinones last week used the tidbit in the first paragraph of his New York TimesContinue reading “Old Ideas for a New Era: On Reading Sam Quinones”

Pharma Gamesmanship in the Booming Business of Addiction Therapeutics: the Case of Suboxone

Editor’s Note: Points welcomes another new guest blogger to the ranks today. Kimberly Sue is an M.D.-Ph.D. candidate in medical anthropology at Harvard, doing ethnographic fieldwork with opiate-addicted women. Below, Kim details some very recent developments in the ways pharma companies invoke societal values around drugs in order to manage their market share, and discussesContinue reading “Pharma Gamesmanship in the Booming Business of Addiction Therapeutics: the Case of Suboxone”

Weekend Reads: Lance Armstrong Edition

Viewed from the outside, many proponents of the War on Drugs seem intransigent in their views simply because they find it difficult to allow any new argumentation or evidence to affect what they’ve deemed a moral issue. Much as temperance was in the 1920s, those who support the American government’s battle to retain strict drugContinue reading “Weekend Reads: Lance Armstrong Edition”

The Points Interview: Dominique Tobbell

Editor’s Note: We’re more than a quarter of the way to one hundred Points Interview features today!  We dry out from our recent spate of alcohol histories to pop a few pills with Dominique Tobbell, our twenty-sixth interview subject and author of Pills, Power, and Policy: The Struggle for Drug Reform in Cold War AmericaContinue reading “The Points Interview: Dominique Tobbell”

The Myth of the Health-Maximizing Consumer

Editor’s Note: We’re pleased to kick off the month with the second in a series of posts by UCLA’s Brad Fidler, Director of the Kleinrock Internet History Center and a historian of anti-psychotic medication and its markets. Economists often expect us to be rational and self-maximizing when it comes to the financial choices we makeContinue reading “The Myth of the Health-Maximizing Consumer”

Qnexa in America: Thinner, Happier, and Less Reactive

Welcome to the first installment of guest blogger Brad Fidler’s new four-part series. Brad is a postdoc researcher at UCLA, where he is developing a new program on Internet history.  He studies the crossovers between information technologies and psychiatry. Over the coming weeks, Brad will discuss the increasing use of psychiatric drugs in the treatmentContinue reading “Qnexa in America: Thinner, Happier, and Less Reactive”

African Perspectives on Pharmaceuticals and Drugs

In a panel on “Drugs in Africa” at the African Studies Association annual meeting in Washington, DC in November, Donna Patterson, a historian in the Department of Africana Studies at Wellesley College, presented a paper on “Drug Trafficking in Africa:  Historical Cases from West Africa,” which in contrast to other papers on the panel lookedContinue reading “African Perspectives on Pharmaceuticals and Drugs”

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