Limit search to available items
Book Cover
Author Padwa, Howard.

Title Social poison : the culture and politics of opiate control in Britain and France, 1821-1926 / Howard Padwa
Published Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012
Online access available from:
EBSCO eBook Academic Collection    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource
Contents Imagining the meditative nation : constructing the opium experience -- Anti-narcotic nationalism : the feared consequences of recreational opiate use -- The era of national narcotics control : the drug wars begin -- Control and its discontents : the plight of the addicted under opiate control
Summary This comparative history examines the divergent paths Britain and France took in managing opiate abuse during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Though the governments of both nations viewed rising levels of opiate use as a problem, Britain and France took opposite courses of action in addressing the issue. The British sanctioned maintenance treatment for addiction, while the French authorities did not hesitate to take legal action against addicts and the doctors who prescribed drugs to them. Howard Padwa draws on primary documents to examine the factors that led to these disparate approaches. He finds that shifts in the composition of drug-using populations of the two countries and a marked divergence in British and French conceptions of citizenship influenced national policies. Beyond shared concerns about public health and morality, Britain and France understood the threat opiate abuse posed to their respective communities differently. Padwa traces the evolution of thinking on the matter in both countries, explaining why Britain took a less adversarial approach to domestic opiate abuse despite the productivity-sapping powers of this social poison, and why the relatively libertine French chose to attack opiate abuse. In the process, Padwa reveals the confluence of changes in medical knowledge, culture, politics, and drug-user demographics throughout the period, a convergence of forces that at once highlighted the issue and transformed it from one of individual health into a societal concern. An insightful look at the development of drug discourses in the nineteenth century and drug policy in the twentieth century, Social Poison will appeal to scholars and students in public health and the history of medicine
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Drug control -- France -- History -- 19th century.
Drug control -- France -- History -- 20th century.
Drug control -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century.
Drug control -- Great Britain -- History -- 20th century.
Opioid abuse -- France -- History -- 19th century.
Opioid abuse -- France -- History -- 20th century.
Opioid abuse -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century.
Opioid abuse -- Great Britain -- History -- 20th century.
Opioid-Related Disorders -- history.
Drug and Narcotic Control -- history.
History, 19th Century.
History, 20th Century.
Public Opinion -- history.
United Kingdom.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 1421404664 (electronic bk.)
9781421404660 (electronic bk.)
(hardcover ; alk. paper)
(hardcover ; alk. paper)
Other Titles Culture and politics of opiate control in Britain and France, 1821-1926