Something is missing from the media’s breathless coverage of the Opioid crises. Is it just my limited perspective, or are the faces and lives of the people suffering from addiction missing from what we are being shown and told?
I see lots of talking heads – experts, politicians, police, doctors, scientists, moralists and so on discussing the “Crisis” and what to do about it, but only rarely do I see any attention paid to acknowledging the reality of human beings who are trapped in hopelessness, misery and despair.
Well, sometimes I do see individuals who “used to be” addicted, being interviewed with the purpose of promoting the idea that addiction can be overcome using the latest solution touted on Oprah, and once in a while I see a quick shot, with the face blurred out, of a dead addict. Holy shit – would you look at that!
That scary approach ought to keep the kids safe – at least the good little boys and girls. Use lurid stories and images for deterrence, and then go to barbaric punishment and wacky therapies when deterrence fails, which it always does. (That’s where private prisons come in. What a goldmine!)
For these and other reasons I was first fascinated, then thrilled to discover a book by Dr. Alonzo Calkins, MD, published in 1870 in Philadelphia and New York. The full title of Dr. Calkins’ book is: “Opium And The Opium Appetite: With Notices Of Alcoholic Beverages, Cannabis Indica, Tobacco And Coca, Coffee And Tea, And Their Hygeienic Aspects and Pathologies Related.”
Whew – those long titles were certainly popular! As you can see I have taken the liberty of shortening it a bit. I’ve republished a slightly edited version as “Opium & The Opium Appetite”.
Dr. Calkins writes with the wordiness, flourishes, classical references, occasional racial stereotyping, and moralizing of his time and place, which may make rough going at first for those unaccustomed to reading books from 150 years ago. However, if you are interested in understanding the true nature of today’s “Opioid Crisis”, many aspects of which you will almost never hear discussed, and also in exploring all of the solutions that were tried and found lacking in the centuries leading up to 1870, and that are reflected 100% in the “solutions” being proposed in 2018, then I commend this book to your attention.
Even more important than gaining a familiarity with the long history of failures of institutions and governments to deal effectively with Opioid addiction, and being able to confirm why almost all of the proposals being made today are also doomed to failure, in the pages of Dr. Calkins’ book you will discover real solutions that worked for real people 150 years ago. That is the true value of spending some of your precious time and attention reading what Dr. Calkins has to say.
As a blogger it is my job to make information easy for you to access, so I am not simply going to tell you to go to Amazon where I have re-published Dr. Calkins’ book, edited for clarity and given it a hyperlinked Table of Contents for browsing convenience – although you are welcome to do so.
However, if you prefer to browse the book in small bytes I am going to devote the next month or two to publishing Dr. Calkins’ book chapter by chapter here on panaceachronicles.com. Believe me, that is a much easier way to read it than to settle down with 250+ pages of incredibly densely-packed information – although the entire book is a fascinating and rewarding read
Nevertheless, after all the pain is described, and all the failures documented, and all the ignorant, venal, self-serving experts and authorities quoted, this book is about hope, and redemption, and the ultimate strength of the human spirit. Read this book and you will learn that there are real solutions to the “Opioid Crisis” of 2018, and these solutions will work today just as well as they worked centuries ago – but only if the false solutions are rejected, and the inborn human will to survive is nurtured and supported, and only if people finally learn to care what happens to other human beings. And good luck with that.
Here is a list of all 28 chapters. I will post Chapter One tomorrow, January 17, 2018 and will post each successive chapter every few days.
Chapter I: The Poppy – Its History, Mythic & Traditional
Chapter II: The Commercial History Of Opium In Europe And The Orient
Chapter III: The Opium Record For The United States
Chapter IV: The Pharmacology Of Opium
Chapter V: Methodical Forms Of Opium Stimulation
Chapter VI: The Physiological Action Of Opium
Chapter VII: The Pathological Action Of Opium
Chapter VIII: The Psychological Action Of Opium
Chapter IX: Opium Literature In The Reflex View
Chapter X: Longevity & Personal Deterioration
Chapter XI: Immature Development & Family Degeneracy
Chapter XII: Idiosyncrasies
Chapter XIII: Utilities & Anomalies Of Opium
Chapter XIV: Causes & Occasions
Chapter XV: Class, Age, & Sex
Chapter XVI: The Posology Of Opium
Chapter XVII: Is The Opium-Appetite Qualifiedly Vincible?
Chapter XVIII: Voluntary Reforms & Involuntary Failures
Chapter XIX: Specific Therapies
Chapter XX: General Therapeutics & Moral Hygiene
Chapter XXI: Institutional Discipline
Chapter XXII: Narcotic Stimuli: The Varieties Of Alcohol
Chapter XXIII: Opium Contrasted With Alcoholic Beverages
Chapter XXIV: The Alternatives: The Vine Or The Poppy – Which?
Chapter XXV: Opium & Cannabis Indica Contrasted
Chapter XXVI: Tobacco, And Coca (Cuzcan Tobacco), Contrasted With Opium
Chapter XXVII: Coffee & Tea In Contrast With Opium
Chapter XXVIII: Legislation Against Stimuli