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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 162487 Find in a Library
Title: Select Social History of the Psychoactive Drugs: Tobacco, Alcohol, Marijuana, Cocaine, and Heroin (From Substance Misuse in Adolescence, P 1-14, 1995, Thomas P Gullotta, Gerald R Adams, and Raymond Montemayor, eds. -- See NCJ-162486)
Author(s): T P Gullotta; G M Blau
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This select social history of the use of and societal response to tobacco, alcoholic beverages, marijuana, cocaine, and heroin considers historic origins, prevalence of use in various periods of history throughout the world and in the United States, and legal efforts to control the use of these drugs.
Abstract: As a cash crop, tobacco was generally embraced in the American colonies, and trading it with the French provided badly needed revenue to finance the American revolution. The first modern efforts to limit tobacco usage coincided with the fledgling temperance movement. The linking of tobacco and alcohol achieved temporary success at the turn of the 20th century when 14 States prohibited cigarettes. With the introduction of the first "mild" cigarette (Camels), this movement faltered and failed by the end of the 1920's. Currently, an estimated 51 million Americans continue to use tobacco products. The consumption of alcoholic beverages has been a part of human behavior from the earliest times. Recognition of its negative effects from overindulgence led to prohibition efforts in Georgia in the mid-1700's. Length of use in the United States, cash crop importance, and the sheer number of users help to explain the continued legality of both tobacco and alcohol, even though their negative effects on health are well documented. Marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, which also have various negative effects on health and the behavior of users are illegal for historical reasons that include social, ethnic, and racial prejudice against immigrant or minority groups. The authors argue that we must address the artificial dichotomy (legal versus illegal) that remains inconsistent and continues to be based on a sociopolitical history of oppression and insensitivity. Further, we must identify and ameliorate contributing variables that increase the probability of substance involvement and take a pragmatic approach to the prevention and minimization of drug use in the United States, particularly among youth. 25 references
Main Term(s): Drug information
Index Term(s): Alcoholic beverages; Cocaine; Heroin; Marijuana; Tobacco use
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