Ceremonial Chemistry: The Ritual Persecution of Drugs, Addicts, and Pushers, Revised Edition

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Syracuse University Press, Oct 1, 2003 - Political Science - 312 pages
Responding to the controversy surrounding drug use and drug criminalization, Thomas Szasz suggests that the "therapeutic state" has overstepped its bounds in labeling certain drugs as "dangerous" substances and incarcerating drug "addicts" in order to cure them. Szasz shows that such policies scapegoat certain drugs as well as the persons who sell, buy, or use them; and 'misleadingly pathologize the "drug problem" by defining disapproved drug use as "disease" and efforts to change the behavior as "treatment." Readers will find in Szasz's arguments a cogent and committed response to a worldwide debate.
 

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The ritual persectution of drugs, addicts and pushers Aim of the book is to identify the actual occurrences that constitute our so called drug problem. To show that these phenomena in fact consist of ... Read full review

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See page 26 for the roots of both the Hebrew and Christian prohibitions against drug use. Traced from ancient Greece, to the Inquisition, we find reference to the word "pharmakos." This passage will explain exactly, where the very roots of these prohibitions are. This material has been known to surprise those prone to making the standard, vaporous explanations as to "why." I read this book over 30 years ago. 

Contents

1 The Discovery of Drug Addiction
3
2 The Scapegoat as Drug and the Drug as Scapegoat
19
The Faith of the Faithless
29
4 Communions Holy and Unholy
39
PHARMACOMYTHOLOGY MEDICINE AS MAGIC
59
Persecutions for Witchcraft and Drugcraft
61
The Model American Scapegoats
75
The Conversion Cure of Malcolm X
89
Panaceas and Panapathogens
137
The Moral Perspective Reconsidered
153
Authority versus Autonomy
175
AFTERWORD
183
A Synoptic History of the Promotion and Prohibition of Drugs
195
The War on Drugs 19742003
225
NOTES
253
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
273

From Soul Watching to Weight Watching
105
PHARMACRACY MEDICINE AS SOCIAL CONTROL
123
Holy Wars on Unholy Drugs
125

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About the author (2003)

Thomas Szasz is professor emeritus of psychiatry at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. The author of more than six hundred articles and twenty-eight books, he is widely recognized as the leading critic of the coercive interventions employed by the psychiatric establishment. His books include Law, Liberty, and Psychiatry: An Inquiry into the Social Uses of Mental Health Practices; The Manufacture of Madness: A Comparative Study of the Inquisition and the Mental Health Movement; Our Right to Drugs: The Case for a Free Market; and Pharmacracy: Medicine and Politics in America.

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