Discusses the constructive aspect of drug use, and reviews the policies and interventions that make up the contemporary web of drug controls. This title traces the classification of substances to define 'drugs', and examines the links with both crime and addiction.
The use and misuse of psychoactive substances is one of the most widely discussed and yet least understood social processes. It is easy to condemn the use of illicit drugs, as well as alcohol and tobacco, as problems that require the services of professionals and the retribution of the state. Sight has been lost of the contributions that drugs have played in society and culture and the key role they play in ritual, religion and possibly human evolution. "Drugs and the World" restores the constructive aspect of drug use to the discussion, and reviews the policies and interventions that make up the contemporary web of drug controls. Axel Klein traces the classification of substances to define 'drugs', and examines the links with both crime and addiction. He investigates the arguments made concerning the role of drugs, first in human evolution and then in history, to underscore their importance in the development of trade and nation states. Drawing on research from around the world, this book illustrates how global efforts to suppress drugs have had little impact on drug use, but have instead eroded institutions of the state, corrupted law enforcement and courts, and undermined the democratic process. Providing new material from the Caribbean, West Africa and the Caucasus to illustrate the bizarre consequences of an internationally devised drug-control programme, Drugs and the World moves to discussing the contribution of drugs to contemporary society, and ways of regulating their use and distribution. Written by an expert author with more than fifteen years experience in the field of drug use, addiction prevention and drug policy, this book will appeal to a wide audience of readers wishing to know more about the use of illicit drugs in the world today.
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... a welcome addition to the growing literature on the use and misuse of psychoactive substances and the policies and interventions that make up the global war against drugs ... Written in a clear and accessible style, the book challenges many of the misconceptions and stereotypes in our everyday thinking about the drugs problem and what is to be done about it ... this book is a highly informative and valuable resource for all those interested in the use and control of drugs around the world today. Times Higher Education ... a forensic denunciation of contemporary drug prohibition as counterproductive and based on historically contingent assumptions. Rehearsing the history of drug scares in Europe, [Klein] explains the Byzantine contemporary international structures of the drug-control bodies, and the irrational separation between alcohol and nicotine on the one hand, and the rest of the pharmacopeia on the other ... I was left glad that tea happens to be legal. -- Steven Poole The Guardian
About Axel Klein
Axel Klein is Lecturer in Medical Anthropology at the University of Kent.
Drugs and the World by Axel Klein
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