logo for Points, which features a needle in place of the T

short & insightful writing about a long and complex history

Joint Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society and the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy

ttravis | January 20, 2011

Points (n.)

1. marks of punctuation. 2. something that has position but not extension, as the intersection of two lines. 3. salient features of a story, epigram, joke, etc.:  he hit the high points. 4. (slang; U.S.) needles for intravenous drug use.

Who Can Afford a Baby? An Intersection of Gender, Race, and Class Oppression in Fertility Treatment in the USA

The World Health Organization (WHO) describes infertility as an inability to achieve a viable pregnancy within one year of regular and unprotected heterosexual sex. Infertility is classified as a disease by WHO and as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Center for Disease Control estimates that 1 in 5 heterosexual women who have no prior births experience infertility. This makes infertility one of the most common diseases/disabilities in women of reproductive age (Insogna & Ginsburg, 2018; World Health Organization, 2018:2020; Davis & Khosla, 2020).

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Healing Disruption: Symposium

Dr Maziyar Ghiabi has announced the proceedings of a two-day symposium titled ‘Healing Disruption: Histories of Intoxication and ‘Addiction’. The symposium is to be held on 26th-27th January, 2023 at Reed Hall, Exeter University, UK. For more details please email m.ghiabi@exeter.ac.uk.

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Discussions on Enacting Transdisciplinarity in Psychedelic Studies 

In my first post for this six-part series of commentaries, I reflected on the start of the “Psychedelic Pasts, Presents, and Futures” Borghesi-Mellon workshop when faculty, students, and community members gathered in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to discuss the importance of transdisciplinarity in psychedelic research and education. In this final post of the series, I return to transdisciplinarity after a semester of events, including a second discussion about transdisciplinarity on the other side of UW-Madison’s campus in the brutalist, concrete Helen C. White Hall. One of the aims of the organizers—Dr. Lucas Richert, Amanda Pratt, and myself–for this workshop was to foster conversations about what humanities and social sciences perspectives bring to psychedelic studies, particularly in relation to the role of transdisciplinarity at the new Transdisciplinary Center for Research on Psychoactive Substances (TCRPS) at UW-Madison.

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Call for Papers: Contemporary Drug Problems Conference

Contemporary Drug Problems have issued a call for papers for their sixth conference on the theme of ‘Embracing trouble: New ways of being, doing and knowing’. The 2023 conference seeks submissions for presentations that engage with and trouble our own methods, tools and practices in alcohol and other drug research.

The conference will be hosted in Paris on September 6-8, 2023. Further details of the conference, including venue, registration fees and information about keynotes are forthcoming. You can also read more about previous conferences at the journal website.

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Future Histories of Psychedelic Biomedicine

A commonly cited catalyst for the psychedelic renaissance is the renewed interest in biomedical research on psychedelics for mental health, including depression, PTSD, and addiction. For instance, popular media like Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind (2018) and its Netflix adaptation (2022) often utilize this research to bolster claims about the relative safety of psychedelics and their efficacy as a mental health treatment. The common (and simplified) narrative in these popular portrayals is that psychedelic research boomed throughout the mid-twentieth century before being swept up in the drug war and pushed underground, and yet today, after years of unjust policies and propaganda, psychedelic researchers and advocates from the past are being proven right by contemporary biomedical research.

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ICDPS fall seminar series unpacks complex global health histories

We are still living the COVID-19 pandemic, and scholarship regarding public health, drug history, and global health governance has become more important than ever. In light of recent global health crises, the International Center for Drug Policy Studies at Shanghai University organized a series of online seminars to discuss and understand the present situation in global health and drug regulations. ICDPS held the seminars during November and December of 2022, and invited scholars from around the world to share and discuss their research.