A history of drugs : drugs and freedom in the liberal age by Toby Seddon

By Toby Seddon

'A background of gear' info the heritage of the connection among medicinal drugs and freedom over the past two hundred years; therefore irritating and unravelling the 'naturalness' of the 'drug question', because it lines the a number of and heterogeneous traces of improvement out of which it's been assembled. creation : medicinal drugs, freedom and liberalism -- A conceptual map : freedom, the "will" and habit -- Opium, law and classical liberalism : the drugstore act 1868 -- medicines, prohibition and welfarism : the harmful medications act 1920 -- medications, chance and neo-liberalism : the medication act 2005 -- medicinal drugs as a rules and governance challenge -- Conclusions : medicinal drugs and freedom within the liberal age

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As I have argued elsewhere (Seddon, 2007b), this idea of hybridity also resonates strongly with Garland’s (1985) account in which he coins the term ‘penal-welfarism’ to describe the accommodation between punishment and welfare that was characteristic of welfare liberalism. In other words, ‘welfarist and penal approaches in this field, rather than being antithetical or contradictory A conceptual map 29 tendencies engaged in an ongoing “tug of war”, are actually involved in a liaison’ (Seddon, 2007b: 149, emphasis in original).

A symptom of a genetic weakness? A psychiatric condition? A failure to cope with life? A result of poverty and disadvantage? A consequence of reckless consumption of dangerous substances? Or is it simply a chimera? 2 ‘Master’ changes in conceptions of the ‘will’ in liberal government Phase One: Classical liberalism Phase Two: Welfare liberalism Phase Three: Neo-liberalism 1. Nature of ‘will’ Will as volition or capacity to choose how to act Will as an attribute of ‘normal’ citizens 2. Governmental role To create conditions in which the will can be exercised To identify citizens with defective characters and attempt to repair their will Will as mechanism for realizing individual preferences To encourage and facilitate the autonomous will of active citizens 26 A History of Drugs I will not attempt here to adjudicate between the psychologists, psychiatrists, neuroscientists and other self-styled addiction experts.

And at other times, the distinction between the ‘therapeutic’ and the ‘recreational’ was somewhat blurred, as the consumption of opium and opiates was 36 A History of Drugs for many people simply a way of attempting to cope with the hardships of the daily grind of working-class life in Victorian Britain. The widespread use of opium-based soothing syrups for infants and babies – Godfrey’s Cordial and Mrs Winslow’s Soothing Syrup were amongst the most popular – is perhaps best understood from that perspective (Berridge, 1982: 2–3).

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