AOH :: ENCYCLO.TXT|
1984 version of Ency-Brittanica's concept of "Drug Problem"
From: greer #0 @utdallas.edu (Dale M. Greer) Internet
Re: Drug Problems - Enc. Brittanica
From: email@example.com (Dale M. Greer)
Subject: Drug Problems - Enc. Brittanica
Date: 1 Mar 1994 04:52:20 GMT
Organization: The University of Texas at Dallas
X-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.2 PL2]
Encyclopaedia Britannica, volume 5, pp. 1048 to 1060, 1984 ed.
William Glenn Steiner, Professor of Psychology. Bradley University,
For thousands of years people have experimented with a variety of
naturally occurring substances that act on human nervous tissues:
alcohol to intoxicate a weary mind, belladonna to calm an angry
intestine or to poison an adversary, opium to overcome worry and
strain. The relief of pain, in particular is an ancient aim of
mankind, and various narcotic and sleep-producing agents were probably
used by primitive people. But for many there is another kind of pain -
the pain of existing - and since ancient times people have been trying
to expand their vision, enhance their appreciation of the word, change
their mood, alter their inner existence, or stupefy their awareness
with such drug as alcohol, opium, and cannabis.
To consider drugs as only medicinal agents or to insist that drugs be
confined to prescribed medical practice is to fail to understand human
The enhancement of aesthetic experience is regarded by many as a noble
pursuit of human beings....
...what the drug user regards as love and what those people around him
regard as love in terms of the customary visible signs and proofs often
do not coincide. Even so, it is plausible that the dissipation of
tensions, the blurring of the sense of competition, and the subsidence
of hostility and overt acts of aggression - all have their concomitant
effect on the balance between the positive and negative forces within
the individual, and, if nothing else, the ability of drugs to remove
some of the hindrances to loving is valued by the user.
Man is a paradox of sorts. Although he goes to great lengths to produce
order and stability in his life, he also goes to great lengths to
disrupt his sense of equanimity, sometimes briefly, sometimes for
exended periods of time....Whatever the reason, people everywhere and
througout history have deliberately disrupted their own consciousness,
the functioning of their own ego. Alcohol is and has been a favorite
tool for this purpose. With the rediscovery of some old drugs, and the
discovery of some new ones, man now has a wider variety of means for
achieving this end.
Currently, narcotic use has begun to spread to middle class youth, and,
interestingly, there is evidence that the middle class is now beginning
to look at narcotic addiction as a mental health problem. When it was
confined to the slums, it was considered a police problem.
Estimates of cures based upon decades of these government-regulated
[drug treatment] procedures range from 1 to 15 percent.
The great number of undesired effects the come on continued use [of
cocaine] frequently prompts the cocaine user to turn to other drugs.
The current hysteria over the use of marijuana and the harsh penalties
that are imposed are perceived by users as a greater threat to society
than would be a more rational and realistic approach to drug use.
Note: Drug problems? One wonders how those rapturous first paragraphs
got into the E.B. Later on Professor Steiner does discuss the
"problems" of drug use, but he never stoops to the progandistic level
of the Drug Warriors. - DMG
Dale Greer, firstname.lastname@example.org
"They know that it is human nature to take up causes whereby a man may
oppress his neighbor, no matter how unjustly. ... Hence they have had
no trouble in finding men who would preach the damnability and heresy
of the new doctrine from the very pulpit..." - Galileo Galilei, 1615
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