Addiction and the Lessons of Vietnam

David Courtwright thoughtfully alerted your Points editors to the latest reprise of a four decade-long discussion of Vietnam’s legacy for the addiction research field, this one courtesy of NPR’s Morning Edition.  The report comes from NPR’s Alix Spiegel, and features a conversation with Jerry Jaffe regarding the impact and legacy of Lee Robins’ now-famous survey of returning servicemen that revealed surprisingly low rates of continued opiate use among opiate-using and opiate-addicted soldiers following their return from Vietnam.  Listen here and read the accompanying post.  Lots more to be said, but we’ve just got time to put the links up for now!

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Joe Spillane is Professor of History at the University of Florida. He has authored Cocaine: From Medical Marvel to Modern Menace in the United States (Johns Hopkins Press, 2000) and co-edited Federal Drug Control: The Evolution of Policy and Practice (Haworth Press, 2004).  More recently, he authored Coxsackie: The Life and Death of Prison Reform (Johns Hopkins Press, 2014). His current drug-related research agenda includes: the history and development of drug abuse liability assessment; reflections on the nature of drug epidemics; and examinations of drug war “harms” in historical context.

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