1st Edition

Heroin Century

ISBN 9780415278997
Published February 13, 2004 by Routledge
228 Pages

USD $62.95

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Book Description

Heroin is a drug that myths are made of. Whether smuggled in the stomach of a camel or used as the ultimate symbol of lifestyle chic, no drug has been more argued over and legislated against, no drug has been more subject to misinformation and moral panic.
Heroin Century sets the record straight. It contains a wealth of historical and medical information about this drug which made its first appearance as a miracle medicine over a hundred years ago and makes recommendations for its future in the twenty-first century. Evidence shows that heroin is dangerous principally because it is illegal. The authors argue that a more relaxed relationship between society and the drug would benefit both the economy and public health and safely.
Individual chapters describe the history of heroin production; the makeup of heroin and evolving methods of use; the spread of heroin and international efforts at control; typical "career" patterns of users, ranging from occasional recreational use to destructive dependence; the subjective experience of taking heroin; the association between heroin and crime; the use of heroin in medicine and its effects on physical health; the history of the treatment of heroin dependence; and likely changes in heroin use in the future. The authors have drawn on literary and artistic sources as well as the large pool of scientific literature to compile a comprehensive and fascinating account of this world-changing drug.

Heroin Century makes available a wealth of information about the history, chemistry, pharmacology and medical aspects of heroin in a form accessible to anyone who wishes to participate in the contemporary debate bout society's attitude to drugs.

Table of Contents

1. Next Add 5mls Human Blood - The Production of Heroin 2. From Mouth-Organs to Bazookas - The Pharmacology of Heroin 3. How To X-Ray a Camel - The Spread of Heroin and Attempts at Control 4. The Righteous Dope - Fiend - Heroin Dependence and Drug 'Careers' 5. How to Stop Time - The Experience of Heroin Use 6. Ripping and Running - Heroin and Crime 7. The Hardest Drug of the Gentle Drug - Heroin and Health 8. Shots from the Drug Pub - The Treatment of Heroin Addiction 9. Beyond the Needle - Heroin Use in the Future

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Tom Carnwath is a Consultant Psychiatrist currently working with drug misuse services in Manchester.

Ian Smith has trained in sociology and is currently Service Development Manager for drug services in Manchester.


'The book is written with insight and humour. It provides an informative platform for any future debate about heroin and how we can move away from the current impasse.' - John Witton, Drug Link

'This fascinating account should be read by anyone who wants to stay informed on the drugs debate.' - New Statesman

'If you read no other book on drug misuse, read this one ... this is an intelligent book that requires intelligent reading ... at the very least you will be well informed but at most you will be greatly entertained.' - British Journal of General Practice

'This level-headed, informative and witty book ... should be read by every politician, parent and physician.' - The Economist