Saturday, June 14, 2014

how drugs became demons

In my long essay review of the book "Demons - our changing attitudes to alcohol, tobacco and drugs" by Virginia Berridge (OUP 2013), I had plenty of space to ponder the perversity of current drugs regulation, as highlighted by David Nutt and others. As for the book itself, Berridge does a very good job explaining how events from the Opium Wars onwards led to the world ending up in this particular rabbit hole. My main criticism was the author's remarkable detachment from these hotly debated issues, which can at times be infuriating. Also, as she apparently has no opinions on any of the controversial issues surrounding current drugs policie, she doesn't offer a way out of the mess either.

Anyhow, my review is out in the June issue of Chemistry & Industry, on pp 50-51. If you have any problems accessing it, drop me a note.

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