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By Toby Seddon

'A heritage of gear' information the historical past of the connection among medicinal drugs and freedom during the last 2 hundred years; hence tense and unravelling the 'naturalness' of the 'drug question', because it strains the a number of and heterogeneous strains of improvement out of which it's been assembled. advent : medicines, freedom and liberalism -- A conceptual map : freedom, the "will" and dependancy -- Opium, legislation and classical liberalism : the drugstore act 1868 -- medicines, prohibition and welfarism : the harmful medicinal drugs act 1920 -- medicines, danger and neo-liberalism : the medicine act 2005 -- medicines as a rules and governance challenge -- Conclusions : medicinal drugs and freedom within the liberal age

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Extra resources for A history of drugs : drugs and freedom in the liberal age

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With very few exceptions, colonial Americans did not use a vocabulary of compulsion with regard to alcoholic beverages. At the end of the 18th century and in the early years of the 19th some Americans began to report for the first time that they were addicted to alcohol: They said they experienced overwhelming and irresistible desires A conceptual map 27 for liquor … Throughout the 19th century, people associated with the Temperance Movement argued that inebriety, intemperance or habitual drunkenness was a disease, and a natural consequence of the moderate use of alcoholic beverage.

Problematizing opium I: longevity and insurance One of the first questions to be answered is how opium first began to be viewed as a ‘problem’. One place often cited as an early example is the famous Earl of Mar life insurance case in 1828. The best historical account is given by Berridge (1977b). She summarizes the basic circumstances of the case: In 1826, the Earl had effected several insurances on his life, including one for £3,000 with the Edinburgh Life Assurance Company. The policy was held by a banking house in Edinburgh, Sir William Forbes and Company, as security for a debt.

A further significant point is the foregrounding within welfare liberalism of the notion of ‘habit’ as an element in the process of character formation. In this regard, Valverde (1998) argues that the work of American pragmatist philosophers like William James and John Dewey at the turn of the twentieth century was highly influential in generating a changing image of human nature and of the faculty of the will. She observes, for example, how James argued that the binary opposition between ‘free will’ and ‘necessity’ was flawed (Valverde, 1998: 35–37).

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