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Monday, October 25, 2010

History of drugs

This happens on a high

Narcotic substances accompanied mankind since the dawn. Long is also a history of attempts to deal with them. Chemical fly is just another, probably not the last, chapter.

"He is alive, who drinks" - Polish baroque poet of acknowledged Vespasian Kochowski, somewhere between the creation of patriotic and religious poetry, which was his specialty. This was clearly our answer to a few years earlier statement of Descartes' I think, therefore I am. " But only the second pope placed in the seventeenth century Index of Forbidden Books.

All indications are that the first time a man got drunk, still in the Stone Age, accidentally eating fermented honey. Then he began to produce beer, wine, and finally the vodka. He was not sober, fostering a culture of Egyptian, Greek, and finally Christian. "In the New Testament, Jesus approved use of alcohol" - recalls professor. Bert L. Vallee of Harvard. Why? Because the miracle at Cana is nothing but a symbol of superiority of alcohol over water. Often dirty, polluted - it was healthier to drink alcohol. Repeatedly tried to cure him, even, for example, during the great plague in the fourteenth century Turned out to be completely ineffective, but it brought relief.

Diseases spread by, among other things that we could not effectively clean drinking water. And probably not without reason Ideas for total bans on alcohol began to appear only after I learned on an industrial scale to control the purity of water.

In the art of pouring alcohol always flows. Literature has a tradition of writing about drinking - from François Villon once, after the Charles Bukowski of the twentieth century "This is a problem with drinking, I thought, pouring a drink. When something bad happens, you drink to forget. When something good happens, you drink to celebrate. And if there will be nothing special, after you drink it for something to happen "- the latter conclusion: the novel" Women ".

There were drinking in the painting (Jackson Pollock was an alcoholic, author of the most expensive picture ever, "Well. 5, 1948", moreover, was killed while driving drunk), or in a movie. "The whole world is about three drinks to the rear. If Stalin, Truman and the rest of the general himself after three drinks, catch some slack and the UN would not need us "- said the film star Humphrey Bogart, who will return later in the text as the bard of tobacco - and not without reason, these two drugs combined in a culture specific. Most art is, you can not hide, strong alcohol propaganda. It is very rare in our sample, such as Nobel Prize winner Wislawa Szymborska, who has proposed a series of poems odwodzących from drinking, according Named "odwódki" ("From siwuchy riots in my stomach," "The potential of mini martini," etc.).

The most famous attempt to proscription of alcohol in Western culture, American Prohibition (not related to consumption during religious ceremonies) in the years 1920-1933 suffered miserably. "It led to the development of crime and institutionalized hypocrisy - by Daniel Okrent in his latest book," Last Call. The Rise and Fall of Prohibition "(more about it in POLICY 33). "In addition to depriving the government of revenue, exposed the shortcomings of the political system and limited civil rights."

Today, Western countries restrict access to alcohol to minors, regulate the availability, control production and imports. Is quite commonly recognized as a drug well-tamed by culture, but every year it becomes the cause of death of 2.5 million people in the world, representing almost 4 percent. of all deaths (WHO estimate). Last year's report on drug European Union draws attention - apart from the growing market afterburners and drug abuse - to increase the consumption of alcohol and the problem of taking it along with other stimulants. And it is those "other" are over a hundred years the subject of major controversy and debate.

Opium of the people

From the Stone Age is also experimenting with Papaver somniferum (which is translated from Latin: poppy producing the dream). Brown juice ages obtained by a similar method, by cutting the immature poppy, was used for religious, culinary and recreational course. Also became the basis for anesthesia. Commonly used it already in ancient medicine, the stronger anesthetic knew neither lived in the tenth centuryAvicenna Persian master, nor the doctors carrying victims of nineteenth-century conflicts - during the Civil War wounded, packed with half a million pills of morphine, opium component.

In Europe, opium was a matter taken very seriously at first suppressed by the Inquisition, then, until the eighteenth century, the domain of doctors, the legacy of Paracelsus, the father of modern medicine and the inventor of laudanum, tincture of opium so willingly in the nineteenth century popijanej by women.

Unlike in China, where since the fifteenth century Opium was used primarily for fun and enhance vitality. The Middle Kingdom as one of the first attempt to limit the enormous influx of opium from India, the British pay for Chinese goods - tea and silk. It ended two wars opiumowymi, dependence State from European colonial powers, and society - from the blissful haze puszczanej special melinach. Habit of smoking opium became popular with the large Chinese diaspora. Mainly on the wave of hostility to the Chinese people began to tighten the screw Opium (which resulted in the first laws regarding the drug was opium.) It was more difficult to note that the rapid increase in the number of addicts rather than Chinese doctors contributed massively prescribing opium-based drugs for women - the menstrual pain, and children - to cough. The latter drug in the late nineteenth century contained heroin, a derivative of morphine, which created the German chemists, thinking it would not be so very addictive. It conditioned much more, but before they realized, the company Bayer had produced tons of the substance. Curative heroin substitute, methadone, used in the treatment of addiction to this day, moreover, was invented in Germany (in 1941) - and originally named in honor of the name of the leader of the Third Reich Dolfin. Probably because Hitler was dependent on opiates, which have been taking for pain. Some speculate that the state in which they introduced, could decide the fate of the war.

In the mid-nineteenth century, during the First Opium War, the substance was already recognized the problem, so that delivered in 1843 sentence of Karl Marx that "religion is the opium of the people" could have been massively misunderstood. Quite a scary collision with Western culture, described drug, "Confessions of English opiumisty" Thomas De Quincey, and then "artificial paradises" Charles Baudelaire, who wrote that "for the workers of the factories is the opium of the cheapest entertainment, because, due to low wages can not afford a beer or vodka. " In England, where the French poet watched the beginnings of the plague, drunk beer with dissolved readily in it a piece of opium. In addition to drug workers swallo great poets and writers: George Byron, Peter Shelley and Walter Scott. Among drug twentieth century writers distinguished by William S. Burroughs, a heroin addict for most of his life.

The report of the examination for the medical journal "The Lancet" three years ago, when gathered in one place, the wise heads of the many areas that a comparison of the characteristics of top 20 drugs, heroin has been number one in all categories. She won in the category of "pleasure" (do not know whether the scientists involved in the study tested it on myself), but, unfortunately, absolutely won it in terms of psychological and physical dependence, social harm and mortality. Also according to "American Scientist, that Afghanistan's main export is the most dangerous drug. Just five times higher dose, and instead fly to the bosom of Morpheus, moving permanently to Hades. And probably because of the dozens of overgrown obituaries (Janis Joplin, Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols, actor John Belushi), and not in jokes - as alcohol and the next character of Western civilization, marijuana.

How to grow grass

Johann Gutenberg your Bible printed in 1455 on paper with hemp fiber. But this was apparently the summit of the Church tolerance for marijuana. Although the plant was used in Europe for hundreds of years, in Asia for thousands - and even then it was known drowsiness - but prefer alcohol church was afraid of her as much as most of the natural herbs with psychoactive properties.

One of the objectives of the Inquisition was so popular weed eradication along with the witches that use it. Because where you were supposed to appear all medieval dragons and demons, if not with visions and hallucinations? So at least he saw the problem of Michel Foucault in his "History of madness." The first western tępiącym marijuana law was in any case non-church - the bull of Pope Innocent VIII, which found marijuana to be a Satanic sacrament. Probably because François Rabelais (MD) in "Gargantui and Pantagruelu" stammered not even cannabis, although he described their performance quite accurately - herb found in his book under the name Pantagruelion zakamuflował. With his mention but we know that in the sixteenth century Western elite burned - and is taken out.

In the nineteenth century Hashish - extract of cannabis resin - was no longer fashionable in bohemian artistic circles. French Club Haszyszystów focused painters (such as Eugene Delacroix) and writers (Balzac, Victor Hugo), who liked to experiment with the imported from the East stimulants. Not necessarily smoke, eat or hashish - Cultural Learnings of design methods in the Arab world - in the form of jam with sugar, spices and almonds, which meticulously recorded Baudelaire.

There are signs that popalał and Shakespeare. In his alleged home in Stratford-upon-Avon found a pipe and the pipe remains a substance that nine years ago, scientists have identified as traces of cannabis. Oscar Wilde was smoking as it is surely ahead of the hippies in their description of this action: "Get the smoke three times, then peace and love." Already in his time with the whims of artists marijuana and hashish have turned into massive stimulant.

The law, which for the first time regulated the turnover of marijuana, was the Hague Convention of 1911, - The same who normowała opium trade. But the real war against the Americans spoke grass. Mexicans burned to power, bringing in from Mexico to the United States imported a workforce stimulant together on the occasion of giving it popular around the world today the name - from mariguana. Americans were afraid of ethnic minorities, and on the occasion of their traditional drugs, which have impact on crime. Finally, in 1937, after a long campaign ("In the case of Mexicans and 80 percent. Murders occur after ingestion of marijuana" - wrote the editors of The Christian Century "), but without research, also restricted trading marijuana.

Figure number one in the global fight against the latter (the American position podchwytywały other countries), Harry J. Anslinger was, the head of the newly established Federal Bureau of Narcotics. As for today, say defenders of marijuana, he had a lot of support chemical concern DuPont, selling technology to produce paper pulp, paper in competition with hemp fibers (which eventually fell out of the market, moreover, is still below 1 percent. Production).

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Anslinger was the opposition to be a movement, which formed around the performers and the audience of music. On the southern United States brought the blues from the beginning of the references to weed. And even more - jazz. Jazz musicians have traveled a lot and played lots of concerts. They could not drink too much, because - as pointed out by Martin Booth in his book "Cannabis" - alcohol weaken their senses. In turn, the opium fell asleep. Marijuana was a good compromise."Material was also a mystery, the thrill of doing something at odds with the law, which is constantly seeking artists" - artists, Booth explained.

Music history can be answered by yes to modern times - through arrests for possession of marijuana during the hippie movement and the Philosopher's Rasta, who was involved with the music of Jamaica. For Bob Marley's marijuana was no longer a simple stimulant, but a holy herb.

The mass in the last decades of the twentieth centuryhip-hop movement took over from reggae's favorite stimulant and considered it part of everyday life ("I make a blunt, so I have hands" - rapped Molesta Polish group). Today 3-4,3 percent. people around the world (according to "World Drug Report 2010" prepared by the UN) and smokes marijuana, despite the prohibitions, the atmosphere around it is changing. Maybe because it is a phenomenon increasingly tested.

In 1997, World Health Organization has prepared a report on drugs, who spoke about the harmfulness of marijuana dim - and in the interests of social welfare has been withheld. Only the British New Scientist has made available to the public. It picks up on the sentence:

"Cannabis in Western societies pose a much less serious health risks than alcohol and tobacco." It appealed to the public in conjunction with the information about little immediate threat to life. Lethal dose exceeds 40 thousand active dose. times, and to commit suicide marijuana, we would have to burn roughly 600 turns, one after another.

The tide is turning. The beginning was the Netherlands, where already in the 70s decriminalized marijuana, but was subjected to strict controls. To this day, many European countries (Portugal, Czech Republic, partly Germany) eased laws on marijuana. In America, it is massively used for medical purposes, and California - the state, where he developed production and sale of medical marijuana (intended for people with cancer, AIDS or multiple sclerosis) - prepares for the November referendum on legalizing it. If it ends successfully, marijuana will come back in a country that nearly a hundred years ago, called her a war.

Smoking or Health

One more thing wydarzyłaby without cannabis - Columbus podbiłby not America, if not for hemp rope on his ships. In turn, if he had not arrived to this continent, not the place przywiózłby alcohol - completely unknown among the Indians - have contributed to the collapse of their civilization. And by the way greatly facilitated the conquest of the continent. Indians lost precisely the lack of drinking culture, like us (which draws attention to prof. Jerzy Vetulani from the Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Sciences in the journal "The Universe"), lack of adequate, shaped by tradition, the approach to opium or coca leaf.

In the rematch of America has given the Columbus tobacco. This, in turn, was used by Indians in a controlled manner, for ritual purposes, and after going to Europe made a real havoc. Initially approached him with fear and forbidden in the territory of today's Germany, Switzerland, Russia and the Ottoman empire, which included most of today's Turkey and the Mediterranean coast, areas today magnifying tobacco. But regardless of the bans has spread across Europe through the Iberian Peninsula. It popularized the French ambassador Jean Nicot, glorifying the healing properties of plants.And, paradoxically, was christened with his name included in the tobacco substance with a highly toxic - nicotine.

Cigarettes - present in the public space, the photographs, and later also on television - have become a symbol of freedom (saxophonist Dexter Gordon, actor James Dean, Jack likes Kuron dissidents and Vaclav Havel). And among women - a symbol of emancipation.

Margit Dahlke Rüdiger and write (in the book "The Psychology of a blue balloon") about how cigarettes have become for millions of people a way of measuring time, and time for burnout has become a widely-recognized entity. Same cigarettes were sometimes substitute for money, and during armed conflicts - from the Civil War - they were handing out his soldiers to the authorities of the countries contributing to the spread of addiction.

The tobacco industry, in turn, was a model example of how well you can make money on Drugs in the days of industrialization (owe their prevalence of cigarette manufacturing machine), and advertising. At the same time became a field of unusual and rather unpleasant coincidences.

The best known form of tobacco commercials, the famous Marlboro Man, tough guy with a cigarette in his mouth, is both a symbol of change in the direction of the wind, which took place in the 50s It then began to appear about the dangers of smoking tobacco and responsibility for many diseases.

The Marlboro Man was originally wcielało three different actors. All died of lung cancer. Humphrey Bogart, who in the movie "Casablanca" on the screen, smoked 13 cigarettes, in turn, died of cancer of the larynx. The heroes who built the myth of the tough guy in a culture, moreover, regularly passed on the social side increased anti-smoking campaign.

The film was long a place where cigarettes could still be cool and pleasant smoking - when it banned long ad, a television antenna cleared. Just as marijuana has been intertwined with the history of music, so nicotine - with its history. However, while the main characters smoked before, but now it appears they are doing something that devises evil villains, or at least people from the plains of the social - as research from blockbusters filmed in recent decades.

Hollywood super restrict tobacco today show on the screen. In the U.S. there were even proposals to raise the age categories of films, in which there are cigarettes, and to bind DVDs mandatory warnings about the dangers of smoking. The problem is alive and with us - for a few days will be held in Lodz festival "Spent cinema," which is supposed to show movies with a cigarette in the background and inspire discussion on cinema and anti-smoking campaign.

The whole history of the last 30 years in the case of cigarettes is a change in the law aimed at eliminating them from the media and public space. Restrict access to tobacco to minors, informed of the consequences, even trying to fight the fires caused smoking (within the EU 11 thousand. Per year), but there is no question of proscription.

Tobacco is still taking a 1.2 billion people, of whom 5.4 million die each year as a result of his addiction. Although the percentage of smokers is increasing in developing countries, but in Western countries is declining.

- Reducing smoking is a good example that you can cope socially with harmful substances. It shows that what is important in the creation of fashion, consistent change patterns of conduct - says prof. Jerzy Vetulani.

Culture ecstasy

Synthetically produced drugs were to be medicated. Albert Hoffman in 1938 patiently worked in his laboratory in Basel, a new anti-migraine agent, when one afternoon he felt strange and saw kaleidoscopic, colorful patterns. He said that has produced something interesting - the next day so he took the minimum dose of the substance he was working on, and so began the first in human history after the LSD trip. "Sounds to me to be changed in the sensations of sight, so that every tone and sound was created corresponding color image" - a Swiss scholar wrote in a report on its experience in ourselves.

Ecstasy - a derivative invented in the nineteenth century, yet amphetamine - also had to be a cure, help with bleeding. And become - as he called it after the chemist Alexander Shulgin - aspirin for the soul. After synthetic drugs doctors always interested in the military and secret services.

Amphetamines distributed to soldiers during World War II. A vision of hallucinations or psychosis call on the staff of the enemy was so seductive that the first experiments with LSD were carried out at the beginning of the 50s - Mainly in military recruits. In the communist camp experimental field was Czechoslovakia, where he also was given an acid (as he later called hippies) in the army.CIA tried (unsuccessfully) to convince Hoffman to take part in experiments, which continued for 20 years, with two fatalities, including one suicide by jumping from windows. And thanks to military purchases from the laboratories of the Swiss substance Sandozu in this matter came to the U.S., where he soon became attorneys in the growing movement kontrkulturowym.

The most famous of them was Timothy Leary, a psychologist at Harvard who, after the first psychedelic - as it was called - began to experience a research program involving the administration of LSD student volunteers, then the mentally ill and prisoners. He described the ideology of acidic Tripping - that journey into themselves - which set the tone for the hippie culture, "plug in, tune, odpadnij." When the acid was banned in October 1968, in the middle of the hot youth revolution, a digression to the theory. He called the phenomenon of war, psychedelic, and believed that the psychedelic culture war with the culture of alcohol. "What people are susceptible to a psychedelic threat? - Asked in his book "Politics of ecstasy." - Young. Racially and ethnically stranger. Creative. More than 90 percent. using plants and the psychedelic substance belongs to one of these categories. "

Creative musicians were in any case, the propaganda mouthpiece of synthetic drugs. Beatles at the beginning of his musical career, when they played in Hamburg, concerts, day after day, assisted with amphetamine, which by the way weakened from hunger, which was the more useful that they could not afford to eat. Harry Shapiro in his book "Waiting for the Man" on drugs in the pop music quotes the then manager of the group: "One day John [Lennon] was tweaked so that when they ran to the overly enthusiastic fan, I kicked him in the face, then threw the the table with a knife. "

While the fashion for an entire era of rock'n'roll amphetamine induced aggression, the LSD would be a stimulant of peace. Those were the Beatles themselves Romanico in the mid 60s by a friendly dentist. It was then that Lennon decided that the whole house of George Harrison is a giant yellow submarine, so it took a childishly simple, colorful drawings and the idea of a later film.

Ecstasy, the mid-80s legal in the U.S., and to 1977 in the UK, tied in turn to U.S. dance clubs - the cradle of disco, then techno. Her story was so similar to the previous substances, the clientele of these clubs were primarily blacks, in addition to a large extent, homosexuals. Play the same role as a ritual in the days of hippies LSD, on the occasion of letting dance the night away.And do not liked it there because, inter alia, that while the owners did not allow clubs to make money on alcohol - on-site customers drank water, and earned only local dealers.

When the fashion for ecstasy were brought to Europe together with a new culture, dance, party decorating illegally, usually outdoors, deployed at an agreed location equipment and music were played. Alcohol was not needed. Shell is constantly accompanied by the entire rebel movement, and the first year rave'ów (as these events were called) were sometimes incessant struggle with the police, initially suppress them because of the nuisance, then - for drugs. "South Wales taking part in the campaign against the mortal danger of so-called designer drugs in the United States" - wrote a local newspaper in the mid 80s

Designer drugs, or boosters. It was then - to put it in a nutshell - a contemporary story began to invent alternatives to illicit substances, yielding similar effects as amphetamine and ecstasy. On the market there were more resources, which then individual countries dopisywały to their drug laws. How long can it last?

- All indications are that further substances can be synthesized into infinity - said prof. Vetulani. -If you run out of ideas for subsequent psychoactive substances in the laboratory, will begin searching the fields and forests. People will follow the footsteps of witches, each with a set of natural poisons and drugs.

Say what it will end, it is a big risk. Related to this - he says Vetulani - which we assume, jumping into murky water. The only thing you can say for sure is that narcotic substances will not disappear. A history of attempts to deal with them you can see which methods are less, which is more effective.

Cooperation Jędrzej Winiecki