Download Addicts who Survived: An Oral History of Narcotic Use in by David T. Courtwright PDF

By David T. Courtwright

The authors hire the innovations of oral heritage to penetrate the nether global of the drug consumer, giving us an engrossing portrait of lifestyles within the drug lifestyle throughout the "classic" period of strict narcotic keep an eye on. compliment for the hardcover version: "A momentous e-book which i think is destined to turn into a vintage within the classification of scholarly narcotic books."--Claude Brown, writer of the bestseller, Manchild within the Promised Land. "The drug literature is stuffed with the stereotyped evaluations of non-addicted, middle-class pundits who've had little direct touch with addicts. those tales are truth. Narcotic addicts of the interior towns are either tricky and delicate, misleading while priceless and but usually generous--above all, clever judges of personality. whereas judging them, the clinician can also be being judged."--Vincent P. Dole, M.D., The Rockefeller Institute. "What was once it wish to be a narcotic addict in the course of the Anslinger period? No ebook will most likely ever seem that offers a greater photo than this one. . . . a singularly readable and informative paintings on a subject matter generally buried in cliches and stereotypes."--Donald W. Goodwin, magazine of the yankee scientific organization " . . . a big contribution to the becoming physique of literature that makes an attempt to extra in actual fact outline the character of drug dependancy. . . . [This publication] will attract a various viewers. Academicians, politicians, and the overall reader will locate this method of drug dependancy tremendous necessary, insightful, and instructive. . . . with out qualification someone wishing to procure a greater figuring out of drug addicts and dependancy will take advantage of examining this book."--John C. McWilliams, Pennsylvania journal of historical past and Biography "This learn has a lot to claim to a normal viewers, in addition to these serious about drug control."--Publishers Weekly "The authors' reviews are perceptive and the interviews make attention-grabbing reading."--John Duffy, magazine of yank heritage "This ebook provides an important and sometimes compelling human measurement to the tale of drug use and legislation enforcement. the cloth can be of serious worth to different experts, equivalent to these drawn to the heritage of prepared crime and of outsiders in general."--H. Wayne Morgan, magazine of Southern historical past "This publication represents an important and necessary addition to the modern substance abuse literature. . . . this booklet provides findings from a unique and remarkably inventive study procedure in a cogent and enormously informative manner."--William M. Harvey, magazine of Psychoactive medicinal drugs "This is an efficient and demanding booklet packed with new details containing provocative components often introduced forth during the touching info of private event. . . . there is no such thing as a recollection which is not of intrinsic price and lots of element to matters rarely broached in additional traditional studies."--Alan Block, magazine of Social background

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Extra info for Addicts who Survived: An Oral History of Narcotic Use in America before 1965

Example text

A social psychologist (Don Des Jarlais) took part in a number of interviews and helped to coordinate the project. Our research strategy was straightforward. Using computer printouts, we identified those clinics serving patients over the age of sixty. With the permission and assistance of the clinical staff, we approached patients and asked if we could tape anonymous interviews with them. At first we concentrated on the oldest individuals, for the simple reason that they might soon be dead. ) Later, after we had accumulated a number of interviews with subjects over sixty, we began taping individuals in their fifties, provided that they had lengthy addiction histories.

Why did these people live when so many of their compatriots died? One answer is that they were more cautious and disciplined than the average narcotic user. They kept up their appearances and hygiene, were careful about using clean needles, and were more scrupulous about the quality and amount of drugs they consumed. "I wasn't greedy," was a remark we heard repeatedly. "I can always be very realistic," explained one long-time user. " Control and discipline were recurring themes-ironically so, in view of the stereotype of the dope fiend.

There was ample precedent for what happened to the black urban community. It had happened before to other immigrants living in the same or similar neighborhoods. The white ethnic addicts we interviewed, who started using narcotics in the 1920s and 1930s, told substantially the same story as the blacks who began in the 1940s and 19S0s. They grew up in or moved to neighborhoods where drugs could be procured; they were on their own or unsupervised; they had friends who were users; they yielded to curiosity or peer pressure and tried it for themselves.

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