Opinions Throughout History: Drug Use & Abuse Review

“Part of the Opinions throughout History series, this title by independent scholar, historian, journalist, editor, and author Micah Issitt, provides a historical treatment of drug use and abuse, starting in the late 18th century and continuing to the present. The introduction is followed by a historical timeline that starts in antiquity and runs to 2018. The book is comprised of 28 chapters that start with “The Opium Odyssey.” Like all the chapters, this one contains an introduction and list of topics covered, followed by a historical discussion, a reprinted document (in this case an 1860 letter to the editor from the New York Times, a conclusion, a set of discussion questions (e.g., Is opioid addiction the most important drug issue in the United States? Explain your answer), and works cited in the chapter. Other chapters cover such topics as alcohol, cannabis, the beginnings of drug rehabilitation, cocaine, Prohibition, mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes, the impact of the rise of the Colombian drug cartels in the late 20th century, medical marijuana and the legalization of marijuana, and the new (resurgent) opioid problem. There is an overall conclusion, a section of notes, a glossary, a bibliography, and an index. The end of the book also provides a long section (nearly 75 pages) called Historical Snapshots. These start with the year 1858 and run through 2018. These history highlights are not necessarily tied to drug use and abuse. For example, one 1858 snapshot lets readers know that Minnesota became the 32d state in that year. The large font, wide margins, and generous use of black-and-white images will appeal to many readers turned off by walls of text. Recommended for school libraries.”
-ARBA, 2019