Criminalizing Addiction in Motherhood: A Modern Phenomenon

The third post in this three-part series on Drugs, Women, and Families is based on the valuable research of Jamie Feyko, who during my drug law seminar investigated how pregnant women with substance use disorders are treated in the United States. In short, they are blamed, villainized, and punished. The trend toward criminally charging pregnant women who use drugs with crimes began in the 1980s and has been growing ever since. Feyko’s review of major cases reveals the extent to which politics and racism drive this phenomenon. But she also contextualizes this history within a set of cultural assumptions about motherhood and pregnancy that leave many women with few options for treatment and care. 

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A Tale of Two Clauses: Due Process in Racialized Reproductive Freedom

For Women’s History Month, I’m so pleased to celebrate three women who have each, through their original work, taught me important lessons about the history of drug control. This second post in my series on Drugs, Women, and Families summarizes an exceptional research paper written by Lydia Wendel during my seminar in drug law last year. She identified two very different constitutional and legislative histories that defined reproductive freedom: one path for white women and another path for all other, or BIPOC, women. The U.S. Constitution’s “due process of law” clause appears twice, commanding both federal and state governments to provide it to all citizens. Wendel’s remarkable insight into how these words have worked to protect the rights of some women while forsaking others gave me a deeper understanding of this difficult and vital aspect of constitutional law. She arrives at a chilling conclusion: that these two constitutional paths are now converging to the detriment of overall reproductive freedom for all women in the United States.

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The Real War on Families: U.S. Child Welfare Law in the Shadow of Drug Prohibition

This post is the first in a three-part series on laws related to drugs, women, and families, written in observation of Women’s History Month. The series is based on original research conducted by three talented women who graced my historical seminar in law at Ohio State University during autumn 2021. 

Today’s post summarizes the excellent work of Karen Augenstein. As she writes, the inherent value of family is deeply rooted in U.S. law; yet in legislating drug control over the past 50 years, “the importance of family was forgotten in favor of punishing those with substance abuse issues in the worst way possible: taking away their children.” The paper covers three major acts of Congress (in 1974, 1980, and 1997) that form the basis of child welfare law. These laws prescribed punishments for parental drug use that led to unprecedented rates of family separation and an “explosion of the foster care system,” while parental incarceration resulted in “harsh, impossible requirements for reunification.”  

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Trading in the Alco-Pop for ‘No and Low’ drinks

Author: Claire Davey

We were told by a number of mainstream news outlets that the British population were destined for an increasingly sober or sober-ish Christmas last year, rather than waiting until Dry January to curb alcohol consumption. Large supermarkets continue to experience increased sales in the ‘No and Low’ drinks category, otherwise known as NoLos. These drinks are targeted at the adult palate, which either contain no alcohol or have a very low ABV% and are often styled as alternatives (but similar) to beer, wine or spirits. The Grocer calculates that adult soft drink sales surged by 18.5% in 2021 to £714m (in the UK), and NoLos accounted for three quarters of this growth. However, in order to understand the rising popularity of NoLo drinks, it is necessary examine the recent and historical trends in alcohol (non-)consumption.

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Call for Papers: HoPP special issue!

History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals, the official journal of the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy (AIHP), is pleased to announce a call for papers for a special issue: “Psychedelic Capitalism: From Forest Retreat to Fortune 500 and Pharmacies.” The issue is anticipated to appear in 2023. Guest editors for the special issue will be Drs. Neşe Devenot and Brian Pace, both of The Ohio State University.

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Points Interview: Carl Erik Fisher

Today we’re excited to feature a Points Interview with Dr. Carl Erik Fisher, the author of The Urge: Our History of Addiction (Penguin Press, 2022). Carl is an addiction psychiatrist, bioethics scholar, and author. He is an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University, where he studies and teaches law, ethics, and policy relating to psychiatry and neuroscience, especially issues related to substance use disorders and other addictive behaviors. The interview was conducted by Dr David Herzberg, Editor of the Social History of Alcohol & Drugs.

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Call for Nominations: The Edward Kremers Award

The American Institute of the History of Pharmacy is now accepting nominations for the 2022 Edward Kremers Award. The deadline for receipt of nominations is May 15, 2022. AIHP awards the Edward Kremers Award to recognize the author(s) of a specific book, or a series of related articles, in the field of the history of pharmacy and pharmaceuticals that exhibits high standards of scholarship, superior quality, and distinguished merit. The Edward Kremers Award is awarded without regard to citizenship or nationality.

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AIHP PhD Research Support Grant Program

The AIHP PhD Research Support Grant Program is designed to provide financial support for doctoral students pursuing academic research related to the broadly defined history of pharmacy and pharmaceuticals. The Program offers grants up to $2,000 to cover research expenses not normally covered by the student’s university (as described in more detail below).

The Institute is now accepting applications for 2022 AIHP PhD Research Support Grants. The deadline for submission of applications is April 1, 2022.

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