The Drugs We Love: (and Sometimes Hate)

ISBN : 9780190051464

Jerrold Winter
208 ページ
156 x 156 mm

Prescription, illicit, and recreational drugs touch all of our lives yet a basic understanding of these chemicals is largely absent among Americans. Jerrold Winter offers a comprehensive account of psychoactive drugs, chemicals which influence our brains in myriad ways. Manifestations of their influence on the brain are quite varied. There may be the comfort provided by opioids to those who are dying or in pain or, in everyday life, the surge of contentment for the users of caffeine, nicotine, heroin, alcohol, or marijuana upon the taking of their drug of choice. Turning to the more exotic, a drug such as LSD may alter the way the world looks to us; it may even inspire thoughts of God. Adding to the purely scientific questions which confront us are the ways in which our society chooses to respond to the presence of psychoactive drugs. Should they be banned and their users sent to prison, tolerated as a reflection of man's eternal search for an escape from anxiety, pain, and the monotony of daily life, or celebrated as therapeutically useful agents? Our Love Affair with Drugs is written for experts and novices alike. There are stories of, for example, how Timothy Leary caused the repeal of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. Readers will learn of the transformation by Sir Charles Locock of a drug intended to dampen female sexual activity into the first effective drug for the treatment of the ancient disease of epilepsy. Alexander Shulgin's love of psychoactive drugs and his unconventional research practices illuminate the story of methylenedioxymethamphetamine, a.k.a. Ecstasy, a drug now likely to find value in treating veterans and others suffering post-traumatic distress disorder. Winter links the excitement of drug discovery with the very practical matter of balancing the benefits and risks of these drugs.


1. Pharmacology
The science of drugs
2. Opioids
God's own medicine
3. Marijuana
From Reefer Madness to THC gummy bears
4. Stimulants
From coca to caffeine
5. Depressants: Sedative-Hypnotic-Tranquilizing Drugs
From errant yeast to Halcion
6. Dissociative Anesthetics
Angel Dust to Special K to Ketamine Clinics
7. Hallucinogens
Magic mushrooms, ayahuasca, mescal buttons, and Dr. Hofmann's problem child
8. Methylenedioxymethamphetamine [MDMA]
a.k.a. Ecstasy
9. Pharmacological Puritanism and The War on Drugs
All the King's horses and all the king's men


Jerrold Winter, PhD, is professor of pharmacology and toxicology in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has taught on the principles of pharmacology, the elements of addiction, and the drug treatment of anxiety, depression, and psychosis to graduate and medical students. He has published more than one hundred scientific articles, and he is the author of two books: True Nutrition True Fitness and Optimal Aging.