Mass Opium Addiction Treatment in Assam, 1939 (Part I)

by Kawal Deep Kour (PhD, Indian Institute of Technology)

The phenomenon of the “opium habit” was attracting worldwide attention by the 1920s. Most addiction historiography research has focused on the United States, where researchers including Arthur Light and Edward Torrance of the Philadelphia Committee for the Clinical Study of Opium Addiction Research, and Charles Terry and Mildred Pellens of the Bureau of Social Hygiene’s Committee on Drug Addictions, whose 1928 classic The Opium Problem is recognized as a seminal primary source of contemporary addiction study. But it was also an object of concern internationally: In January 1923, a joint sub-committee of the League of Nations Health Committee and the Advisory Committee on Traffic in Opium, consisting of Dr H. Carriere (Vice President, Director of the Swiss Federal Public Health Department, Berne), Dr W. Chodzko (delegate of the Polish government to the Office of International Hygiene), Dr. O.Anselimo (German Minister of Health) and J. Campbell (representative of the Indian government) presented a massive report on the illegitimacy of nonmedical opiate use.

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