Romancing Opiates

Romancing Opiates

Pharmacological Lies and the Addiction Bureaucracy

Book - 2006
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Baker & Taylor
Challenges conventional ideas about opiate addiction, arguing that an uncritical acceptance of literary and anecdotal accounts has resulted in romanticization and misguided treatment efforts.

Perseus Publishing
For hundreds of years, addiction to drugs has seemed dangerous but with a hint of glamour. Addicts are a mystery to those who have never been one. They are presumed to be in touch with profound enlightenments of which non-addicts are ignorant. Theodore Dalrymple shows that doctors, psychologists, and social workers have always known these drug addictions to be false! They have created these myths to build lucrative method of expensive quasi-treatment.

Book News
Based on his experience as a British prison and hospital psychiatrist, Dr. Dalrymple challenges conventional ideas about addiction to opiates such as heroin. From literary, medical, and philosophical perspectives, he provocatively argues that uncritical acceptance of accounts of the nature of addiction and the alleged relationship between drugs, creativity, and crime has resulted in romanticization and misguided treatment efforts. After weighing the arguments for and against legalization, he decides against it. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Encounter Books, 2006
ISBN: 9781594030871
Characteristics: p. ; cm


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Jan 31, 2012

The author was a psychiatrist working in one of the hospitals and prisons of a major British city. His thesis is that our common understanding of drug addiction is based on the notions of romantic authors such as De Quincy and Coleridge, and have little to do with reality. He questions the need for the the vast network of professionals who try to help addicts quit their habit. He has some interesting conclusions as to why the sale of drugs should not be made legal.


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