Substance use and abuse are two of the most frequent psychological problems clinicians encounter. Mainstream approaches focus on the biological and psychological factors supporting drug abuse. But to fully comprehend the issue, clinicians need to consider the social, historical, and cultural factors responsible for drug-related problems. Substance Use and Abuse: Cultural and Historical Perspectives provides an inclusive explanation of the human desire to take drugs. Using a multidisciplinary framework, authors Russil Durrant and Jo Thakker explore the cultural and historical variables that contribute to drug use. Integrating biological, psychosocial, and cultural-historical perspectives, this innovative and accessible volume addresses the fundamental question of why drug use is such a ubiquitous feature of human society.

Drugs in History

Drugs in history


If you were to take a stroll along the main street of practically any city in the Western world, you would sooner or later come across an establishment devoted to the sale of a potent psychoactive drug. That drug is, of course, alcohol, and the assorted places that it may be found are variously termed “bars,” “inns,” “taverns,” “pubs,” “lounges,” and “liquor stores.” If you were then to enter this establishment, you would find the drug ethyl alcohol displayed in all its myriad forms. Propped up along the bar counter you might find a number of patrons, in various stages of intoxication, quaffing their favored variety of alcohol. Some of these individuals may be holding little white sticks trailing smoke, ...

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