By Toby Seddon
'A background of substances' info the background of the connection among medicinal drugs and freedom during the last two hundred years; hence aggravating and unravelling the 'naturalness' of the 'drug question', because it strains the a number of and heterogeneous traces of improvement out of which it's been assembled. creation : medicines, freedom and liberalism -- A conceptual map : freedom, the "will" and dependancy -- Opium, rules and classical liberalism : the drugstore act 1868 -- medicines, prohibition and welfarism : the damaging medications act 1920 -- medicines, threat and neo-liberalism : the medication act 2005 -- medicinal drugs as a legislation and governance challenge -- Conclusions : medications and freedom within the liberal age
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Additional resources for A history of drugs : drugs and freedom in the liberal age
In 1828 the Earl died of jaundice and dropsy, and his insurance company then learnt that, as well as drinking alcohol and leading a sedentary life, the Earl had for 30 years been in the habit of taking laudanum to excess. He took a tablespoonful on going to bed, and also when going out for a walk, and had, in 1825, confessed to his housekeeper that he was taking 49 grains of solid opium and one ounce of laudanum a day. The Edinburgh Company, horriﬁed that such a habit had not been revealed at the time of their general inquiry into the Earl’s health, refused to pay out on the policy.
Emphasizing the enabling or productive nature of modern freedom, Rose (1999: 69–78) makes the telling point that at the same time as allowing individuals freedom of choice, liberal government sought to deploy a A conceptual map 21 range of technologies of responsibilization, all of which aimed to steer people towards governing themselves in desired directions. Norms and codes of civility, reason and orderliness operated across diverse sites – urban space, schools, the family and so on – to guide how individuals exercised their freedom of choice.
Professor Christison, the principal expert involved in the Earl of Mar case, was one of the pioneers, his 1829 Treatise on Poisons proving to be inﬂuential. In this context, we might understand then the Pharmacy Act of 1868 as part of this public-health drive to reduce poisoning, in a similar way to the arsenic legislation in 1851. So, Parssinen (1983: 68), for example, describes the 1868 Act as ‘one of the smaller triumphs of the larger [public-health] campaign’. But how should we understand the emergence of this particular mode of problematizing opium and opiates at this time?
A history of drugs : drugs and freedom in the liberal age by Toby Seddon