The Interdependency of Narcotics Trafficking and the Global Market System

In the United States, as in any other capitalist market across the global market system, narcotics trafficking, and its expansive capitalist dynamics have become determinant engines of local economic development.  Since the Corsica mafia operations of the early 1900s, narcotics trafficking’s informal capitalist structures have been instrumental in the expansion of urban development, business development, infrastructure development, and the overall modernization of the capitalist world.  Since then, its “illegal” capital has been a key component of the economic development of nations across the world, and today it is the backbone of the globalization of the market.

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ADHS Presidential Address: “Why are We in México? 5,000 Years of Pivotal Drug Histories in Las Américas”

Editor’s Note: This is an edited version of Paul Gootenberg’s Presidential Address at the Alcohol and Drugs History Society 2022 Conference, delivered at Universidad Nacional Autónima de México (UNAM) on 15 June 2022.


Welcome

Thank you/mil gracias for the kind introductions and especially to UNAM and and its renowned Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales for hosting and welcoming us to our international biennial ADHS conference.

It is a deep privilege to deliver this ADHS Presidential Address, particularly here at UNAM, the intellectual heart of Mexico, and even of “las Américas”

So, why are we here in Mexico?

The easy answers, being a beautiful, peopled, world cosmopolis, wonderful food and tequila, and everyday links with drug wars, need not be addressed!

Of course, we’re here mainly for the serious biennial purpose of intellectual exchanges — through new papers, roundtables, and exciting keynotes — around our booming, increasingly recognized field of global drug and alcohol history.

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The Indigenous Medicine Conservation Fund: a new paradigm of benefit-sharing in the burgeoning psychedelic science ecosystem

Editor’s Note: Anny Ortiz returns with a third contribution to our Pharmaceutical Inequalities series with reflections on her recent trip to the Medical Psychedelic House of Davos to co-present alongside her colleagues from the Indigenous Medicine Conservation Fund and launch their ‘Grow Medicine’ project. The Pharmaceutical Inequalities series is funded by the Holtz Center and the Evjue Foundation.


I recently returned from a 10-day trip to Switzerland and Canada. I was in Toronto, Canada at a conference called “From Research to Reality” co-presenting a poster titled “5-MeO-DMT: Synthesis and therapeutic potential for treating psychological disorders”. It was surprising to see that there were two separate presentations by personnel from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), one of which was titled “Challenges in Conducting Clinical Research with Schedule I Psychedelics: From the 1960s to the Present”, presented by Dr. Katherine Bonson, and the other titled “World Regulatory and Policy Discussion: A Pathway Forward”, presented by Javier Muniz. If FDA staff presenting at a psychedelic science conference is not a sign of the times, I don’t know what is.

Immediately preceding the Toronto conference, I was in Davos, Switzerland, as part of the Indigenous Medicine Conservation Fund (IMCF), which was a sponsor of a landmark event titled “Medical Psychedelic House of Davos” (no connection to the World Economic Forum, usually hosted in Davos). I would like to share some highlights of what transpired there.

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Resisting the pathologisation of women in research of alcohol and pharmaceuticals

I was recently reading Dr Jessica Taylor’s latest book Sexy but Psycho: How the Patriarchy Uses Women’s Trauma Against Them. Taylor is a working class, radical, lesbian feminist who has a proven track-record working with traumatised women and girls. In this book she argues for a trauma-informed approach to working with women and girls and documents the long-standing tendency by the patriarchy (systems that uphold male power) to pathologise them as a result of their traumas, reframe them as mental illness, and unnecessarily medicate them for these ‘disorders’.

Pre-existing research shows that women are more likely to be diagnosed with depression, anxiety and somatic disorders, borderline personality disorder, panic disorder, phobias, suicide ideation and attempts, postpartum depression and psychosis, eating disorders and PTSD (Riecher-Rossler, 2016). Furthermore, women are more likely to be diagnosed with multiple psychiatric disorders at one time (Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 2019).

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How a Policy of Abstinence Shaped Irish Drug Health Information Material in the 1980s And 1990s

Festival Season is upon us, and the Health Service Executive (HSE) in Ireland recently launched a new drug campaign targeted at festival-goers. The design and imagery of the Reduce the Harms at Festivals campaign takes a playful approach. Borrowing heavily from 1970s animation, the campaign features images of anthropomorphized objects and colourful cartoons; a smiling first aid kit high-fives a heart in platform shoes patched up with a plaster (‘Medics are your Mates’); a snail in festival style staples – bum bag and bucket hat (‘Start Low and Go Slow’).

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