Heroin by Alex Mold
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By Alex Mold


The Treatment of Addiction in Twentieth-century Britain

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Format: Hardback

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Heroin by Alex Mold

Book Description

Heroin, often viewed as the 'hardest drug', looms large in the popular consciousness. Heroin addiction in Britain first began to cause concern during the 1920s, yet while one group of doctors regarded the addiction as a disease which required treatment, other physicians viewed it as a vice which demanded strict control. The medical community and the government have debated both the definition of addiction - medical condition, moral failing or social problem - and the method of dealing with addiction - medical treatment vs. legal controls.In "Heroin", Alex Mold examines the interaction of the different approaches to heroin addiction and argues that the treatment of the addiction as a disease and the control of heroin as a social problem could, in practice, rarely be separated. Treatment became a way of controlling the addiction and the addicts themselves, but debates about the nature of addiction treatment and the methods used resulted in politicisation of the topic. During the late 1960s Drug Dependence Units (DDUs) were established as a means to combine both medical treatment and social control.The 'British System' essentially treated addiction as a disease and offered maintenance - the administering of heroin or an opioid substitute on a long-term basis - as treatment. Maintenance proved to be a source of tension between psychiatrists specialising in addiction treatment and private and general practitioners who operated outside the DDUs. This conflict manifested itself in heated disputes on the pages of medical journals, in government committees and in disciplinary hearings before the General Medical Council.The same debates, conflicts and tensions which have beset drug addiction treatment since the beginning of the 20th century persist today. Despite international laws and codes concerning addiction and treatment, there is much that is peculiar and significant about the British case. Drawing on government papers, private archival collections, medical journals, oral history sources and official reports, Mold presents the first detailed historical analysis on the subject. Historians, sociologists, addiction specialists and contemporary policy-makers can look to this groundbreaking study to learn from the past and shape the future response to heroin addiction.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780875803869
ISBN-10: 0875803865
Format: Hardback
(250mm x 150mm x 15mm)
Pages: 246
Imprint: Northern Illinois University Press
Publisher: Northern Illinois University Press
Publish Date: 14-Apr-2008
Country of Publication: United States

Books By Author Alex Mold

Making the Patient-Consumer by Alex Mold Making the Patient-Consumer, Hardback (June 2015)

Explores the development of patient-consumerism from the 1960s to 2010 in relation to seven key areas: patient autonomy, representation, complaint, rights, information, voice and choice.

Public Health in History by Alex Mold Public Health in History, Paperback (October 2011)

Offers an exploration of the history of public health and the development of health services over the centuries. This book surveys the rise and redefinition of public health since the sanitary revolution of the mid-nineteenth century, assessing the reforms in the post World War II years and the coming of welfare states.

» View all books by Alex Mold


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Author Biography - Alex Mold

Alex Mold is Lecturer in History at the Centre for History in Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

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