Loosening the Grip: a handbook of Alcohol Information 9th



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Loosening the Grip:

A Handbook of Alcohol Information
9th edition
Annotated Resources


Jean Kinney, MSW

Dartmouth Medical School

Hanover NH 03755

© 2009

Chapter 1 Alcohol
Abel EL. The gin epidemic: Much ado about what? Alcohol and Alcoholism 36(5): 401–495, 2001. (32 refs.)
While there is no doubt that the era of the ‘gin epidemic’ was associated with poverty and social unrest, the surge in gin drinking was localized to London and was a concomitant, not the cause, of these problems. The two main underlying social problems were widespread overcrowding and poverty. The former was related to an unprecedented migration of people from the country to London. The latter stemmed from an economic ideology called ‘poverty theory’, whose basic premise was that, by keeping the ‘inferior order’ in poverty, English goods would be competitive and would remain that way since workers would be completely dependent on their employers. Widespread overcrowding and poverty led to societal unrest which manifested itself in increased drunkenness when cheap gin became available after Parliament did away with former distilling monopolies that had kept prices high. Reformers ignored the social causes of this unrest and, instead, focused on gin drinking by the poor which they feared was endangering England's wealth and security by enfeebling its labour force, and reducing its manpower by decreasing its population. Part of this hostility was also related to gin itself. While drunkenness was often spoken of affectionately when it was induced by beer, England's national drink, gin was considered a foreign drink, and therefore less acceptable. These concerns were voiced less often after the passage of the Tippling Act of 1751, which resulted in an increase in gin prices and decreased consumption. However, the second half of the century was also a period in which England's military victory over the French gave it new wealth and power, which dispelled upper-class fears about an enfeebled and dissolute working class. It was also an era when new public health measures, such as mass inoculation against smallpox, and a decrease in the marrying age, led to a population increase that dispelled reformist fears about manpower shortages. The conclusion is that, while the lower cost of gin sparked the ‘gin epidemic’, the social unrest associated with this unprecedented surge in gin consumption was exacerbated, rather than caused, by the increase in drinking. (Copyright 2001, Medical Council on Alcohol)

Adams J. Hideous Absinthe: A History of a Devil in a Bottle. Madison WI: University of Wisconsin, 2004


This book discusses the absinthe drinking culture that arose in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Absinthe, while commonly considered to have been widely used -- a 15-fold rise in French consumption between 1875 and 1913 is widely cited -- never represented more than 3% of French consumption. The current fascination for what might be considered at best a minor historical blip, might be attributed to the fascination with the historical period, and that the great art of the period made reference to it and is featured in its work. One reviewer notes a main virtue of the book is the color and black-and-white plates of paintings, drawings and posters produced about absinthe by drinkers such as Van Gogh, Degas, Toulouse-Latrec, Picasso and Gaugin, accompanied by engaging commentary. The book also considers how 'absinthism' became conceptualized as a disorder separate from alcoholism, and how and why medicine, the wine industry and the temperance movement embraced this shaky distinction. The absinthe panic of the period is described, with the drink's opponents portraying it as the scourge of the working classes, a tempter of women to promiscuity and lesbianism and a debilitator of national character and masculinity when every European country was living in dread of the next German invasion. Copyright 2006, Project CorkAlcohol History Database http://www.scc.rutgers.edu/ alcohol_history> Note: Contains bibliographic records for over 600 monographs, pamphlets, and journals from the 19th and early 20th centuries dealing primarily with the American Temperance and Prohibition movements.

Alcoholics Anonymous. Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age. New York: AA World Service, 1957.

Austin G. Alcohol in Western Society from Antiquity to 1800. Oxford UK: Santa ABC-Clio Information Services, 1985.

Bacon S. The classical temperance movement in the U.S.A. Impact today on attitudes, action and research British Journal of Addiction 62:5–18, 1967.

Blocker JS; Fahey DM; Tyrell IR, eds. Alcohol and Temperance in Modern History: An International Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara CA: ABC-Clio, 2003
This is intended as a comprehensive encyclopedia on all aspects of alcohol -- its production, use, and the social impact. It spans the history of alcohol production and consumption from the development of distilled spirits and modern manufacturing and distribution methods to the present. It includes around 500 alphabetically organized entries, range beyond the principal alcoholic beverages and major producers and retailers to explore attitudes toward alcohol in various countries and religions, traditional drinking occasions and rituals, and images of drinking and temperance in art, painting, literature, and drama. Other entries describe international treaties and organizations related to alcohol production and distribution, global consumption patterns, and research and treatment institutions, as well as temperance, prohibition, and anti-prohibitionist efforts worldwide. A chronology of major events in the history of alcohol and the social reponse since the 18th century is provided. Contributors include scholars from diverse disciplines. There are also numerous drawings and illustrations such as historical photographs, vintage lithographs, posters, and product labels representing early advertising. Copyright 2005, Project Cork

Bouroncle A. Sports, substances and politics: A brief historical approach. IN: Bouroncle A; Rauhamaki S, eds. Sport and Substance Use in the Nordic Countries. NAD Monograph No. 45. Helsinki Finland: Nordic Council for Alcohol and Drug Research, 2005. pp. 17-38. (17 refs.)


This is one of two chapters providing a historical perspective of the relationship between sports and substance use, from the classic Greek period to the modern Olympic movement. Copyright 2006, Project Cork

Burnham JC. Bad Habits. Drinking, Smoking, Taking Drugs, Gambling, Sexual Misbehavior, and Swearing in American History. New York: New York University Press, 1993.


This volume deals with social behaviors which early in the 19th century were considered "bad habits" and subject to informal social restraints. This work traces the evolution of the "reconceptualizing of these behaviors." In large part this is attributed to the process of commercialization. The book discusses the manner in which the meaning of these previous idiosyncratic traits were transformed and became a forum in which social tensions have surfaced, the nature of social relationships negotiated, and have become a dominant and recurrent theme in political life. The "bad habits" addressed include smoking, alcohol and drug use, as well as sexual behavior, gambling and swearing.

Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth. Youth Exposure to Alcohol Ads on Television, 2003.Washington DC: Georgetown University, Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, 2004.


Television advertising for alcohol, and youth exposure to that advertising, grew substantially in 2002 from 2001. The total number of alcohol ads increased by 39%, to 289,381; spending grew by 22%, to more than $990 million. Youth were more likely than adults on a per capita basis to see 66,218 of the alcohol ads in 2002, an increase of 30% over 2001. Teen programming abounded with alcohol advertising: all 15 of the television shows most popular with teens aged 12-17 had alcohol ads. The National Research Council and Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently recommended that the industry move toward a threshold of 15% maximum youth audience composition. More than 21% of ads—61,741 ads, costing more than $103 million—exceeded this threshold in 2002. Why the Concern. Public health research has found that youth exposure to alcohol advertising increases awareness of that advertising, which in turn influences young people’s beliefs about drinking, intentions to drink, and drinking behavior. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has noted that, "While many factors may influence an underage person’s drinking decisions, including among other things parents, peers, and the media, there is reason to believe that advertising also plays a role." (Public domain.)

Chavigny KA. Reforming drunkards in nineteenth century America: Religion, medicine, therapy. IN: Tracy SW; Acker CJ, eds. Altering American Consciousness: The History of Alcohol and Drug Use in the United States, 1800-2000. Amherst MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2004. pp. 108-123


This chapter reviews the variety of social and medical efforts which took place during the 1800s to address problems related to alcohol use. These efforts took place at a time when there some initial, formulation of alcoholism as a disease, a "something" different than voluntary or willful behavior. The programs which emerged were a mixture of religion, medicine, and self-help initiatives, which in part provided the foundation for Alcoholics anonymous which emerged in the following century. Separate sections are devoted to the Washingtonians, the temperance movements, and medical treatments. Copyright 2005, Project Cork

Dills AK; Miron JK. Alcohol Prohibition and Cirrhosis. National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. w9681. Cambridge MA: National Bureau of Economic Research, 2003. (35 refs.)


This paper uses state-level data on cirrhosis death rates to examine the impact of state prohibitions, pre-1920 federal anti-alcohol policies, and constitutional prohibition on cirrhosis State prohibitions had a minimal impact on cirrhosis, especially during the pre-1920 period. Pre-1920 federal anti-alcohol policies may have contributed to the decline in cirrhosis that occurred before 1920, although other factors were likely substantial influences as well. Constitutional prohibition reduced cirrhosis by about 10-20 percent. Copyright 2003, National Bureau of Economic Research

DP: The Washingtonians. AA Grapevine 27(9): 16–22, 1971.

Durrant R; Thakker J. Substance Use and Abuse: Cultural and Historical Perspectives. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2003. (684 book refs.)
This book endeavors to complement the literature on biological and psychological aspects of drug use by focusing on cultural and historical factors. The authors suggest that appreciating the differing ways in which drugs have been used in different cultures and in different eras, can foster the ability to think critically about these issues today. The book is organized into 9 chapters. The initial chapters deal with the nature and scope of substance use and abuse, and use from an evolutionary perspective. The next chapters discuss the use of drugs throughout history and an examination of patterns of use in terms of availability, economic and political factors, social factors, legislation and public policy, and technological changes. This is followed by an examination of world-wide drug use patterns presently and the relationship to cultural factors. This includes consideration of indigenous cultures. The final chapters bring this cultural-historical approach to treatment and prevention. Copyright 2006, Project Cork

Foster SE; Vaughan RD; Foster WH; Califano JA. Alcohol consumption and expenditures for underage drinking and adult excessive drinking. Journal of the American Medical Association 289(8): 989–995, 2003. (46 refs.)


Context: Although estimates of the amount and proportion of alcohol consumed by underage and adult drinkers have been reported, more accurate estimates are possible and the economic impact has not been explored. Objectives: To provide accurate estimates of underage and adult excessive drinking and to describe consumer expenditures linked to underage and adult excessive drinking. Design and Setting Information was obtained from national data sets, including 1999 versions of the National Household Survey of Drug Abuse, the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), 2000 US Census, and national data on consumption and consumer expenditures for alcohol, published by Adams Business Research. Participants: A total of 217192 persons aged 12 years or older across 3 data sources. Main Outcome Measures: Amount as a proportion of total alcohol consumed and proportion of consumer expenditures on alcohol among underage (12-20 years) and adult excessive (greater than or equal to21 years) drinkers. Results: The proportion of 12- to 20-year-olds who drink was estimated to be 50.0% using data from the YRBS; the proportion of adults aged 21 or older who drink was estimated to be 52.8% using data from the BRFSS. The estimated total number of drinks consumed per month was 4.21 billion; underage drinkers consumed 19.7% of this total. The amount of adult drinking that was excessive (>2 drinks per day) was 30.4%. Consumer expenditure on alcohol in the United States in 1999 was $116.2 billion; of that, $22.5 billion was attributed to underage drinking and $34.4 billion was attributed to adult excessive drinking. Conclusion: These data suggest that underage drinkers and adult excessive drinkers are responsible for 50.1% of alcohol consumption and, 48.9% of consumer expenditure. (Copyright 2003, American Medical Association)

Hemphill TA. Alcoholic beverage industry self-regulation and youth advertising: The Federal Trade Commission Report. Business and Society Review 110(3): 321–329, 2005. (20 refs.)


In 1997 and 1998, the U.S. House and Senate Committees on Appropriations jointly requested that the FTC examine the effectiveness of the alcoholic beverage industry's voluntary guidelines for advertising and marketing to underage consumers. the FTC staff reported in its 1999 report, Self-Regulation in the Alcohol Industry: A Review of Industry Efforts to Avoid Promoting Alcohol to Underage Consumers. The annual marketing and advertising investments made by the alcoholic beverage industry to influence consumer behavior are significant. The alcoholic beverage industry is reported to have spent $1.9 billion on alcohol advertising in measured media (television, radio, print, outdoor, major newspapers, and Sunday supplements) in 2002. According to estimates made by the FTC in 1999, the alcoholic beverage industry's total expenditures to promote alcoholic beverages (including sponsorship, Internet advertising, point-of-sale materials, product placement, brand logo items, and other means) were three or more times its expenditures for measured media advertising. (That translated to a total of $5.7 billion or more in 2002.) After a review of internal and public documents related marketing and advertising strategies, the 1999 FTC report found that, while a few members of the industry do not fully comply with their respective code provisions pertaining to advertising content and placement, product placement, online advertising, college marketing, and code enforcement, the industry generally complies with its existing self-regulatory standards. This FTC report endorsed the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus as a model of advertising self-regulation. The FTC recommended the following: 1) Third-party review: creating an independent external review board with responsibility and authority to address complaints from the public or other industry members. 2) Advertising placement: Raise the current standard that permits advertising placement in media where just over 50 percent of the audience is 21 or older, and members should be able to demonstrate their compliance with the higher standard. 3) Best prevailing practices: adopting enforcement policies that go beyond minimum code requirements. In March 2003, conferees of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees directed the FTC to (1) study the impact on underage consumers of advertisements for new flavored malt beverages (FMBs) called “alcopops,” which were first marketed in the late 1990s, and (2) determine whether the alcoholic beverage industry had implemented all of the recommendations made by the FTC in its 1999 report regarding improved alcoholic beverage industry self-regulation that limits the appeal and exposure of alcohol beverage advertising to underage consumers. The FTC staff reviewed whether these were placed among non-alcoholic beverages in retail outlets; whether the advertising for these products were targeted to an underage audience; and whether consumer survey evidence proved that teens were more likely than adults to be aware of and use these products, as alleged in complaint from the Center for Science in the Public Interest. In its report, Alcohol Marketing and Advertising (2003), the FTC reported finding no evidence of intent to target minors with the flavord malt bverages. In its review of the beverage industry's efforts at industry self-regulation, the FTC found that some members of the industry had taken modest steps, but that more could be done.

Holt MP, ed. Alcohol: A Social and Cultural History. Gordonsville VA: Berg Publishers, 2006. (chapter refs.)


This edited volume deals with an array of topics that shed light on the social and cultural history surrounding alcohol. With 13 chapters it is organized into three sections. Alcohol has long played an important role in societies throughout history, and understanding its consumption can reveal a great deal about a culture. It examines how drink has evolved in its functions and uses from the late Middle Ages to the present day in the West. This book discusses a range of issues, including domestic versus recreational use, the history of understanding of alcoholism, and the relationship between alcohol and violence, religion, sexuality, and medicine. It looks at how alcohol sheds light on issue of class, gender and place. Drawing on examples from Europe, North America and Australia, this book provides an overview of the many roles alcohol has played over the past five centuries. Copyright 2006, Project Cork

Horton D. Alcohol use in primitive societies. In Pittman DJ, White HR, eds: Society, Culture, and Drinking Patterns Reexamined. New Brunswick NJ: Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies, 1991.


This chapter is an abridged, edited version of a classical study of the functions of alcohol in preliterate societies. The thesis is that the degree of inebriety is directly related to the degree of anxiety in a culture. Three sources of anxiety are postulated, i.e. the level of subsistence, the presence or absence of subsistence hazards, and the degree of acculturation. Thus it has been suggested that in preliterate societies -- and presumably in modern society -- one of alcohol's primary functions is to relieve tension and anxiety. (Laboratory evidence has since challenged the tension-reduction hypothesis; evidence indicates that alcohol use actually increases rather than decreases anxiety and stress.) This chapter in considering the above thesis examines the customs surrounding and defining alcohol use. It also considers the relationship to aggression. It was concluded that levels of alcohol use are correlated with levels of societal anxiety, such as might be induced by the adequacy of food supplies or presence of external dangers. This data was later reexamined by others using newer cross-cultural measures, and alternative explanations suggested which did not see drinking as a response to the cultural conditions cited by Horton, but as related instead to the nature of social structures. (See Field, same volume.) Copyright 1992, Project Cork Institute.

Kahn G; Hirschfeld A. The Speakeasies of 1932. New York: Applause Books, 2005


This book, originally published in 1932 under the title "Manhattan Oases" has long been out of print. It celebrates three dozen illegal drinking establishments -- among the estimated thirty-two thousand that sprang up in New York City during Prohibition. The bars featured ranged from the high brow, with admission requiring a wooden card, to a Bowery dive. Hirschfeld's pen-and-ink drawings offer a window onto the Jazz Age. The trademark illustrations capture the feeling of bartenders, both straight-faced and dour, as well as of the patrons, some dressed for dance, others longing to bend an ear. On the page facing each drawing is a short essay on the drinking establishment, written by Gordon Kahn and Al Hirschfeld. Following the description is a recipe for that place's signature drink; these range from the gin daisy, horse's neck, brandy flip, to the prairie-oyster cocktail. For Mike's bar in Harlem, the authors' write, "Caucasian patronage is tolerated but not solicited," and the Pink Lady Cocktail is made with grenadine, brandy, gin and egg white. Hirschfeld depicts the bartender Ralph, serving a sophisticated, blasé black couple, sitting at the same table as a derelict-looking white man. Copyright 2006, Project Cork

Lender ME, Kamchanappe KR. Temperance tales, anti-liquor fiction and American attitudes toward alcoholics in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Journal of Studies on Alcohol 38(7): 1347–1370, 1977.

MacAndrew C., Edgerton R. Drunken Comportment. Chicago: Aldine, 1969.
This classic, dealing with the social dimensions that influence the use and response to alcohol is being re-issued again in 2008.

McClelland D, et al. The Drinking Man. New York: The Free Press, 1972.

Munro G. An addiction agency’s collaboration with the drinks industry: Moo Joose as a case study. Addiction 99(11): 1370–1374, 2004. (31 refs.)
Aim: This paper analyses a partnership between an addiction agency and the drinks industry in Australia, with special reference to concerns held by public health advocates for such projects. Method: Public health anxieties regarding collaboration between the drugs sector and the drinks industry are identified. A projected partnership between the Alcohol and Drug Foundation Queensland (ADFQ) and the liquor industry in Australia is reviewed. The partnership involves the creation of a new organization, Alcohol Education Australia Ltd. (AEA), which states as its aim the education of consumers in responsible drinking. In order to assess the impact of the partnership an examination is undertaken of the AEA's stated mission and objectives, of relevant policy development by ADFQ and of ADFQ's intervention in support of an alcohol manufacturer which was putting a case to a licensing authority. Findings: The results indicate the partnership advances the interests of the drinks industry rather than public health. The mission and objectives of Alcohol Education Australia Ltd subordinate public health goals to industry aims and the host organization, the ADFQ, has changed its policy and practice to accommodate the drinks industry. Conclusion: The partnership between the ADFQ and the drinks industry indicates the difficulty faced by addiction organizations in maintaining an uncompromising public health orientation when in partnership with the alcohol industry. (Copyright 2004, Society for the Study of Addiction to Alcohol and Other Drugs)

Munro, G; Learmonth, A. (2004) 'An unacceptable risk': the problem of alcoholic milk. Drug & Alcohol Review, 23(3) 345-349, 2004. (26 refs.)


Aim: This paper analyses a partnership between an addiction agency and the drinks industry in Australia, with special reference to concerns held by public health advocates for such projects. Method: Public health anxieties regarding collaboration between the drugs sector and the drinks industry are identified. A projected partnership between the Alcohol and Drug Foundation Queensland (ADFQ) and the liquor industry in Australia is reviewed. The partnership involves the creation of a new organization, Alcohol Education Australia Ltd. (AEA), which states as its aim the education of consumers in responsible drinking. In order to assess the impact of the partnership an examination is undertaken of the AEA's stated mission and objectives, of relevant policy development by ADFQ and of ADFQ's intervention in support of an alcohol manufacturer which was putting a case to a licensing authority. Findings: The results indicate the partnership advances the interests of the drinks industry rather than public health. The mission and objectives of Alcohol Education Australia Ltd subordinate public health goals to industry aims and the host organization, the ADFQ, has changed its policy and practice to accommodate the drinks industry. Conclusion: The partnership between the ADFQ and the drinks industry indicates the difficulty faced by addiction organizations in maintaining an uncompromising public health orientation when in partnership with the alcohol industry. (Copyright 2004, Copyright 2006, Taylor & Francis)

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Tenth Special Report to U.S. Congress on Alcohol and Health, Washington DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2000.


This in the 10th Special Report to the U.S. Congress on Alcohol and Health, mandated by the legislation that created the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The intent is to summarize the knowledge base. It covers a range of topics from epidemiology, to genetics, neuroscience, toxicology, prevention, and treatment. The overview of current research is divided into eight chapters: Chapter 1 deals with drinking over the life span, and includes Issues of biology, behavior, and risk. Chapter 2 focuses on alcohol and the brain, neurosciences and neurobehavior. Chapter 3 considers genetic and psychosocial influences. Chapter 4 focuses upon medical consequences. Chapter 5 addresses prenatal alcohol exposure. Economical and health service issues are addressed in Chapter 6. Chapter 7 addresses prevention. and is followed by treatment research. Copyright 2001, Project Cork

Olson N. With a Lot of Help from our Friends: The Politics of Alcoholism. New York: Writers Club Press/iUniverse.com, 2003


This book chronicles the advent and development of U.S. federal government involvement in the field of alcoholism and alcohol abuse. It covers the period from 1970-1980. The author, a staff member for the Senate Special Subcommittee on Alcoholism and Narcotics and other federal substance abuse related agences, witnessed the events described. A landmark was the enactment of the Comprehensive Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation Act, also called the "Hughes Act" after its sponsor, U.S. Senator Harold Hughes of Iowa, who was a recovering alcoholic. The Hughes Act created a new institute, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, to spearhead the federal effort on alcohol problems, and authorized funds for a major attack on those problems. The book describes numerous struggles that began within the alcoholism treatment community after President Richard Nixon reluctantly signed the Hughes Act and continue to this day. Copyright 2003, Projct Cork

Parsons EF. Manhood Lost: Fallen Drunkards and Redeeming Women in the Nineteenth-century United States. Baltimore MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003


This book considersone of the most frequently told narratives of the nineteenth century in the United States -- the story of hopeful young men with lives destroyed by alcohol. The author describes this "drunkard narrative" from the time it came into prominence in the 1830s and how it became the central pillar of the temperance movement, arguably the largest social movement of nineteenth century America. Drunkard narratives generally began with a young man on the brink of adulthood who, longing for adult privileges and seeking excitement, allows himself to be lured into a saloon, usually by a "fast" young man. His entry and the "fatal first drink" launch his downward spiral into chronic drunkenness. The author shows that this narrative was so ubiquitous that pamphleteers and the popular press felt comfortable alluding to it and parodying it without explanation. Recovered drunkards would travel from town to town telling their histories, and their wives would describe their plight to juries, temperance reformers, neighbors, and officials. Reformers repeated the stories of drinkers they knew or knew about, and temperance novelists, short story writers, poets, songwriters, and playwrights created fictional accounts of drunkards' lives. The consequences of the drunkard narrative included a series of slow but massive cultural changes that would culminate in a generally weakened belief in individual volition and in greater participation of women in public life. Public Domain

Renfrew JM. Archaeology and the origins of wine production. IN: Sandler M; Pinder R, eds. Wine: A Scientific Exploration. London: Taylor and Francis, Inc., 2003. pp. 56-69. (15 refs.)


This chapter considers the archaeological evidence on the origins of wine production. Some evidence suggests that wine was known and produced as early as the 12th to 9th century BC. Clearly in Neolithic times, (9000-4000 BC) the stage was set for winemaking when farming was established and the conditions for domesticating grapes were in place. it is most likely that the domestication of grapevines took place in the northern part of the Near East around 6000 BC, and a millennium later was established in the Nile Valley. Laboratory analysis of the residue of pottery vessels definitively indicates the presence of wine in the 5400-5000 BC period. The trade in wine is discussed and its use through the days of the Roman Empire is described. Copyright 2004, Project Cork

Schaffer A. Vaporize me. Is inhalable alcohol a good idea? Slate. September 2004.


"Why not create a device that would allow users to inhale vaporized alcohol along with oxygen?" A recently invented machine, called Alcohol Without Liquid, or AWOL, which takes hard liquor and disperses it as vapor in an oxygen mist is described, along with the claims made for it, and the objections raised.

Sournia JC. A History of Alcoholism. Cambridge MA: Basil Blackwell, 1990.


This is a translation of the French work Histoire de l'alcoolisme. It chronicles the history of alcoholism in Western societies using contemporary studies. The author records the history of alcoholism by describing drinkers in antiquity; wine and eaux-de-vie; and from the period Enlightenment to Magnus Huss, 1700-1850. Attitudes about alcoholism are discussed in alcoholism: vice or malady -- Magnus Huss and alcoholism, 1807-1890; drinking habits; alcoholism and medicine; society and race under threat; and virtue in action which notes temperance societies in France and other responses to the abuse of alcohol. The book concludes with clinical and biological considerations, treatment and current perspectives on prevention. Copyright 1993, Project Cork Institute

Tracy SW. Alcoholism in America: From Reconstruction to Prohibition. Baltimore MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005. (chapter refs.)


The author, a historian, traces the origins of the modern alcohol field, focusing on the era between Reconstruction and Prohibition. This was the period in which the inebriate asylums were founded. It was also the beginning of the medicalization of the perceptions of alcoholism. In 1870, a small group formed the American Association for the Cure of Inebriates and endeavored to promote the view that intemperance was a disease and should be treated as such. Six years later, in 1876, the American Medical Association endorsed the concept, in part as an opportunity to expand its professional authority. In 1920, with the coming of national Prohibition, the asylums were closed. The book has three major threads. One is the change in medical thinking. Another is the emergence of the asylums, the various groups which promoted them and those who opposed, some of which were state funded, and the treatment efforts. The third thread present the perspective of patients, their friends and families based on letters, diaries, and institutional records. Copyright 2006, Project Cork

Tracy SW; Acker CJ, eds. Altering American Consciousness: The History of Alcohol and Drug Use in the United States, 1800-2000. Amherst MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2004. (chapter refs.)


The essays in this book derive from a conference conducted in 1997 at the College of Medicine in Philadelphia. Pscyhoactive drugs have always been a part of American society, although the way in which they are viewed changes over time. A thesis of those involved in this book is that American drug habits cannot be understood, nor effective drug policy possible, in the absence of a clear picture of the range of drugs used both yesterday and today and the ways in which historic events have shaped their use and regulation. While distinctions may be made between "hard" drugs and "soft" drugs, licit and illict, recreational and medicinal, nonetheless, over time a drug may move from one category to another. The current "war on drugs" suggests a past without drugs, the invasion by drugs and the prospect of a drug free future. The essays in this volume analyze a diversity of psychoactive substances and their history. These include alcohol, opiates, imipramine, LSD, and nicotine. There is also discussion of the history of drug/alcohol reform efforts, treatment, and the medicalization of addiction. Copyright 2005, Project Cork

Weil A. Man’s innate need: Getting high. In: Dealing with Drug Abuse. Ford Foundation: New York, 1972



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