Starting Points

Points (n.) 1. marks of punctuation. 2. something that has position but not extension, as the intersection of two lines. 3. salient features of a story, epigram, joke, etc.:  he hit the high points. 4. (slang; U.S.) needles for intravenous drug use.

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.Read More »

Psychological Perspectives on Recovery

Editor’s note: In today’s post, we highlight a few recent psychology dissertations on recovery settings, their dynamics, and the people who populate them. These entries are part of an ongoing drug-related dissertation bibliography being compiled by Jonathon Erlen, selections of which were formerly published in the Social History of Alcohol and Drugs journal but are now periodically featured on the Points blog. Contact Dr. Erlen through the link above.

 

Adverse childhood experiences and their impact on substance abuse treatment in adults

Author: Cody, Linzi Bruch

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to expand upon prior research done on the effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) throughout the lifespan within a population of substance abusing adults receiving treatment on a residential chemical dependency treatment facility. Specifically, this study sought to determine the extent to which ACE scores were predictive of a variety of physical, social, and financial variables. To explore these relationships, a sample of 164 behavioral health recipients (BHRs) was included. Additionally, 16 healthcare providers were interviewed with regard to their opinions on these proposed relationships. The medical and financial records of the BHRs included in the sample were compared against their ACE scores, and a series of simple linear and logistic regressions were run in an effort to determine the ability of ACE scores to predict each variable. The contents of the interviews with healthcare providers were transcribed, and run in a content analysis in order to identify themes and patterns in their responses. The results indicated that ACE scores were not significantly predictive of any of the variables with the exception of age of first substance use, and number of days to readmission to treatment. Further, the results indicated that healthcare providers believed ACE scores to be highly predictive of the variables in question. These two sets of results were contradictory to one another, and as such, a discussion regarding the reasons for these discrepancies was included. This information can be of use to practitioners working with survivors of trauma and the substance abuse population in that it illuminates some of the confusion inherent in working with these groups. This study demonstrates that further research is needed in the area of adverse childhood experiences as they relate to the substance abuse population. Future directions for research should make efforts to control for confounding variables, and to make connections between the opinions of healthcare providers and the realities of the behavioral health recipients to whom they are providing treatment.Read More »

New Perspectives on Global Drug Control

Editor’s note: In today’s post, we highlight a few recent dissertations on drug control and politics from national, international, and transnational perspectives. These entries are part of an ongoing drug-related dissertation bibliography being compiled by Jonathon Erlen, which was formerly published in the Social History of Alcohol and Drugs journal but is now periodically featured on the Points blog. Contact Dr. Erlen through the link above.

Martin Behrman and the Regulars: Beer, War, Sex, and the Roots of Modern American Politics

Author: Criss, Ralph Eric

Abstract: The proper role of government at all levels—local, state and federal—has been debated since the birth of the Republic. This project explores that debate by illustrating how a variety of social and political issues manifested themselves in the real life of New Orleans’ longest serving mayor, Martin Behrman, and the lives of millions of other Americans, in the early twentieth century. Integral to the story of Martin Behrman’s life is the tale of Storyville—the infamous red-light district—the growth of the beer industry, and World War I. These matters were bound together in a ball of confusion surrounding the act of congress authorizing the war and its funding. Specifically, questions poured in from across the nation, asking which parts of American cities sailors could visit, whether or not sailors and soldiers were to be treated equally under the law, and even whether or not a civilian could buy a soldier a cold beer to say “thank you” for his service. In this way, the politics of beer, sex, and reform exploded across the United States. In Louisiana, these issues contributed to the defeat of Martin Behrman in the mayoral election of 1920, the weakening of the “Regular” political machine, and the ascent Huey Long, the “Kingfish.” Many of the same legal and moral questions that were asked in 1915 are now asked in 2015 as presidential candidates jockey for position in the presidential primaries of both major parties. How much federal government intrusion into the private lives of citizens is appropriate, given the urgent need to protect the nation from terrorism? Which civil liberties may be encroached upon and to what extent? What is government’s role in promoting public health, fair wages, and morality? What is the appropriate role of the federal government versus states and localities, especially during wartime? How do we handle the large numbers of immigrants flocking to our shores—from both a policy and rhetorical perspective? Answers to such questions constituted the political fault lines of the early twentieth century, as they do today. This study does not attempt to answer the policy questions above. Rather, it seeks to add context to debates surrounding them and to demonstrate their durability. The challenge is how to discuss these complex issues in a concise and cohesive manner. The author chose the political career of the longest serving mayor in the history of New Orleans to act as the glue that holds the narrative together.Read More »

Opium, Empire, and India (Part II)

Editor’s note: Today’s post is a continuation of last week’s piece by Dr. Kawal Deep Kour. Make sure to check out Part I

china-yunnan
Southeast Asia

References to the significance attached to trade with China abound in British diplomatic correspondences, treaties and conventions. Yunnan (in China), with its rich reserves of gold and silver was alluring to adventurer-entrepreneurs, merchants, and explorers alike as much as for its “opium geography.” Of great interest was the location of Yunnan- from here, opium could travel to its destined locations: Hong Kong and Shanghai. Correspondences between the Bengal government and an imperial agent deployed in British Burma refer to instructions relating to the safe passage of Chinese labour to clear ground for tea plantations in Assam, and also to the conveying of Indian opium to Yunnan at the insistence of the British merchants following Chinese hostility. Further, a large amount of goods were smuggled through Margherita (Assam) to the villages of the Khampti and Singpho people inhabiting the area, what is present day Arunachal Pradesh (northeast India), bordering China. The trans-border tribesmen from Borkhamti and from the Hukong valley smuggled large quantities via Margherita and even as far as Titabar in Assam. It was therefore considered that the opening of the Borkhamti country would uncover tremendous possibilities of Assam-China trade being conducted through the river routes-Irrawady-Salwin (present day Myanmar) and thence into Yang-tse-kiang (China). Surveying the region in 1826, Captain Wilcox in his memoirs had taken incidental note of the great demand for opium, apart from salt, among all Indo-Chinese nations.Read More »

New Research on Drug Use: TGIF Edition

Editor’s note: Happy Friday! In today’s post, we present a sampling of new research on drug use among different professions. These entries are part of an ongoing drug-related dissertation bibliography being compiled by Jonathon Erlen, which was formerly published in the Social History of Alcohol and Drugs journal but is now periodically featured on the Points blog. Contact Dr. Erlen through the link above.

Workplace smoking bans and daily smoking patterns: Implications for nicotine maintenance and determinants of smoking in restricted environments

Author: Dunbar, Michael Stephen

Abstract: Background : Daily smokers are thought to strive to maintain blood nicotine levels above a certain threshold. Workplace smoking bans pose a substantial barrier to nicotine maintenance. Individuals may compensate for time spent in smoking-restricted environments by smoking more before (“anticipatory”) or after work (“make-up” compensation), but this has not been quantitatively examined. Read More »

Opium, Empire, and India (Part I)

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is from new contributing editor Kawal Deep Kour, who received her PhD from the Indian Institute of Technology. Contact the author at kawaldkour@gmail.com. Stay tuned for Part II!

malwapoppy For many years before the British incursion in the Indian subcontinent, the “hubble-bubble” (tobacco smoking) along with opium had served as a favourite pastime of the aristocracy and the commoners alike. Opium was both an aristocratic luxury being a coveted item in the list of royal household of the Mughals and the Rajputs while being an integral part of the daily life of the common folk. Abul Fazl, the famous court historian of Mughal Emperor Abkar, in his Ain-i- Akbari, dated around 1590, has described poppy as growing “luxuriantly” in the region of Malwa and Benaras and Punjab. It is claimed to contain the earliest authentic reference to opium cultivation. Opium poppy was extensively cultivated in Bengal, north-western provinces and in the Malwa region of central and western India.  Trade in opium in Mughal India was an Imperial Monopoly. Until the British monopoly, the Dutch were the chief foreign purchasers of opium, though the Agency System which was introduced in 1797 which established the Benaras Opium Agency. By Regulation XIII of 1816, opium cultivation was legalised in Bengal under the supervision of the Commercial Resident of Rungpore. The control of the Opium Department went from the Board of Revenue in the Customs, Salt and the Opium Departments by the Regulation IV of 1819. In 1850, by Act XLIV, the Customs, Salt and Opium Board was merged in the Board of Revenue at Calcutta. In 1797, prohibition was imposed on the private cultivation of poppy in Bengal proper and in Behar division of the province. It was then that the attention of the Government proper was being met by ‘systematic smuggling and clandestine production’

In India, opium is variously referred to as kanee/kappa(the juice of opium being reduced to a dry state, the opium paste was then spread on narrow slips of cloth and later rolled into small bales);  amalpaani or kusumbhi/kusumbha(the opium is cut into small pieces, a little water added to it and mixed to a thick consistency. The mass is then put the mass into a thick woollen cloth, allowed to cool and then strained through. The decoction is drunk without any addition of sugar or anything to destroy the bitter taste. The proportion is usually one part of opium to 20 parts of water. It is a drink prepared from an infusion of poppy heads in water. The great Indian classics of Ayurveda (the traditional system of medicine incorporated in the Atharveda, the last of Vedas [regarded as the source of all knowledge in the Hindu system of philosophy]) like Caraka Samhita, Susruta Samhita and Ashtanga Hrdaya are silent on the use of opium. In the Indian classical texts, opium finds its first mention in the Sarangdhara Samhita, which is primarily a book on pharmacy and popular amongst the physicians of Rajasthan, supposed to be written in the thirteenth or fourteenth century AD, as aphiphena and nagaphena. A fifteenth century text contains reference to the extensive use of opium and its various preparations by the Hindu physicians are recorded. It appears from the available classical Indian medical literature that opium was first used as an aphrodisiac, then as anti-diarrhoeal and thereafter as an analgesic and sleep-inducer.

It was used in wide and various ways by the people, depending on their means and tastes. The essential product was mixed with tobacco or spices and either drunk or smoked. The common mode of consuming opium in India was in the form of pills. In some parts of the country and chiefly on social and ceremonial occasions, a decoction of opium was served. In Punjab and a few other tracts in upper India, an infusion of the capsule of the poppy, called the posth was drunk in the villages. In Patiala of Punjab, a compound called the ‘Barsh’ or the ‘Judwa’ (of which opium formed an important part) was administered by the native medical practitioner-the Hakim, though this practice is reported to be uncommon. In Rajputana, the popular mode of consumption was a drink made of opium called ‘Gholua’ and a refined form of the decoction called the ‘Beni’ in Kathaiwar. This common and well established custom was replaced by smoking preparations of opium in India is known as chandu and madak around 1700 AD and was a Chinese novelty. Though initially confined to the larger towns and military cantonments, it soon percolated down to the lowest rungs of the society. The habit of smoking ‘madak’ though already in vogue in eastern parts of India, was looked down upon in some other societies.

afghanist-si

Nevertheless, every province had its share of percentage of regular users as well as a large number of people who used opium only on special occasions. In India, it was a favourite with the native practitioners- the Hakims, Vaids, Bej, Ojha etc., who used it to treat a variety of afflictions of the body and mind. It was used to treat headaches, fevers and chills (including malaria), stomach aches, diarrhea, dysentery and asthma, tuberculosis (“bloody coughing”), fatigue and anxiety. Opium was also used for symptoms of venereal diseases and gynaecological afflictions and for pain caused by injuries such as sprains, dislocations and broken bones. Because of its analgesic and other medicinal properties, ingested opium clearly provided relief from the pain associated with these conditions and ameliorated many other symptoms as well. It was also prescribed for many bovine ailments which also explains its popularity among a people for whom agricultural pursuits constituted the main source of livelihood. For many people, opium smoking took the edge off the routine physical discomforts of life. Women also ate and smoked opium with their male counterparts.

In the tea gardens and rice growing tracts of the east where malaria and kala-azar had reached epidemic proportions, and where the cultivator had to spend several hours exposed to the wet and the chill, it was used to cure fevers and chills. Opium was occasionally issued on the advice of a medical officer in special circumstances, particularly for troops employed in fighting and road making amongst the snowy ranges of Sikkim. The use of opium as a stimulant in physical emergencies seems to prevail more in the north of India, particularly in Punjab to ward off the severity of the winter months. The Sikh soldiers were known to be among the heaviest consumers of opium. Administering of opium to infants was an ordinary part of the domestic life of the country.  The practice of giving ‘balagoli’ to infants was given up to the age of 2 and a half years and even 3 years of age was common.

How intertwined was opium to the lives of the people of most part of India can be gauged from the potentially wide range of social and religious activities of which it formed a significant aspect. Whether it was celebrations as marriages, birth of a child, as a gesture of greeting friends and relatives or a seal of reconciliation between warring states or adversaries and even at funerals, consumption of opium was seen as a marker of social status, custom and a ritual. Tobacco smoking and betel-chewing cultures of the eastern part and of bhang in most part of the country had assisted opium’s favourable acceptance in the way of life of various cultures in the country. It certainly was a favourite indulgence, which was cherished by the users, as is evidenced by the distinctive mode of preparation which imparted to it a distinctive characteristic. Whether to the wide and varied users of opium, it was a favourite pastime or an aphrodisiac or panacea is yet to be ascertained with certainty. However, it was the proliferation among the lower strata, the ‘downward diffusion’ as Yangwen (2003:1-39) makes us believe, as was the case with tea and opium in China, that made it a visible social problem. The imageries of ‘opium intoxicated, effeminate and opium sot’ began to dominate the imperial accounts and the missionary literature including vernacular writings from the end of the nineteenth century. This was attended by a host of economic, social, administrative and legal ramifications for the provinces where it was consumed by the majority as culture and custom. The variant patterns of usage enabled in exploring the ‘indigenous use of psychoactives alongside mirroring the society’s level of political complexity. The identification of India as a land of ‘great opium eaters’ spawned up the propaganda of the ‘civilising mission’ ushering in a new era of material exploitation and political domination. The identification was to have a significant impact on the development of regulation of opium and its use.

 

 

 

New Dissertations on U.S. Correctional Supervision

Editor’s Note: Today’s post showcasing new research related to American correctional supervision caps a week’s worth of highlights from the subjects of drug law enforcement and implementation. These entries are part of an ongoing drug-related dissertation bibliography compiled by Jonathon Erlen, which was formerly published in the Social History of Alcohol and Drugs journal but is now periodically featured on the Points blog. Contact Dr. Erlen through the link above.

 

The Collateral Consequence of the War on Drugs: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of the Experience of Daughters who Experienced Paternal Incarceration as a Result of the War on Drugs

Author: Clayton, Karima Ann

 

Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to examine the lived experience of adult daughters whom had fathers incarcerated when they were in middle childhood as a result of a drug related offense. According to statistics, the United States criminal justice system currently houses nearly 2.3 million individuals, an increase of nearly 500 percent in the last 30 years. While African-Americans make up approximately 13 percent of the current population in the United States, they make up nearly half of the incarcerated population. Many believe that the War on Drugs has contributed to the increase in the numbers of individuals incarcerated and to the sentencing disparities which exist. In 1980, approximately 41,000 individuals were incarcerated due to a drug related offense and estimates indicate that this number is now nearly half a million. With the staggering numbers of individuals who are currently incarcerated, many have begun to examine the collateral consequence of incarceration which is the effect on family members. Research conducted relating to family members has focused on the physical, behavioral, as well as psychological effects of the incarceration on the family member. A primary area of study related to how incarceration impacts families has focused on children of incarcerated parents and statistics estimate that nearly ten million children have experienced having a parent incarcerated at some point in their lives. In addition, approximately 90 percent of incarcerated parents are fathers and Black children are eight or nine times more likely than White children to have an incarcerated parent. Minimal research exists which allows the child to share the experience in their own words and no research exists specifically examining the experience of children solely impacted by the War on Drugs. The current study was exploratory in nature and examined the experience of and effects of paternal incarceration as experienced by daughters whose fathers were incarcerated when they were in middle childhood as a result of a drug related offense. Interviews were conducted with 10 participants and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was utilized to analyze the collected data. IPA is a type of qualitative data analysis which provides in depth examination of human lived experience. During the analysis five superordinate themes were identified which included The Need for Transparency- “I just wanted to know the truth”, The Broken Family Unit- The Father’s Absence, The Stain of Incarceration – “Life was never the same”, Buffers and Barriers to Adjustment, and Becoming Independent – Fear of Relying on Others. In addition, subthemes were identified within the superordinate themes which captured the uniqueness of the participant experience of paternal incarceration. Results revealed some similarities in experience and also confirmed how different the experience of individuals can be who experience paternal incarceration. Implications for practice are also discussed.

 

Degree date: 2015

 

Advisor: Carter, Robert T.

University/institution: Columbia University

Department: Counseling Psychology

 

 

 

Building upon the razor wire women’s program by incorporating experiential therapy interventions to treat addictions in women in prison

Author: Harris, Alma

 

Abstract: This project examined the need for more effective treatment programs to meet the needs of women in prison with addictions. The International Centre for Prison Studies has shown that America has the largest number of people incarcerated, with females being the fastest growing population (Zust, 2009). The Bureau of Justice Statistic indicated 37% of women prisoners in the United States had been raped before incarceration, and 50% had physical and sexual abuse over their lifetime (Zust, 2009). Other studies have shown women in prison suffer from disturbing effects of violence that are linked with prolonged and intense depression precipitated by substance addiction (Zust, 2009). The Developmental Research Utilization Model (DRU) was used to design this project to add to an already existing treatment program that addresses the need for treatment of women inmates with mental health issues precipitated by substance abuse. Data collections and analysis were collected from other documentary resources such as journal articles, text books, and governmental publications. Research indicated the prison system is geared toward restraint and subdual, and women with mental health and trauma needs are being overlooked. To aid in identifying the problem for lack of treatment programs, the current research focused on the need for treatment programs in the prison system. The design process addressed issues concerning the Razor Wire Women Program, especially in the treatment of women imprisoned and suffering from substance abuse problems.

 

Degree date: 2015

 

 

Advisor: Valch, Amy

Committee member: Ellison, Dawn; Southern, Stephen

University/institution: Mississippi College

Department: Professional Counseling

 

Themes from the Essays of Participants Who Completed the Orange County Drug Court Program: A Qualitative Study

Author: Nicholson, Sarah R.

 

Abstract: The purpose of the present qualitative study was to gain a better understanding of the lived experiences of participants who had graduated from the Adult Drug Court Program in the Superior Court of California, County of Orange. Grounded Theory was utilized and data was analyzed using the Constant Comparative Method. There were ten participants in the present study, all of which had completed the requirements of the Drug Court Program and successfully graduated. The researcher analyzed the written essays of ten participants who met the inclusion criteria, consisting of 5 written essays each, including the final Graduation speech. There were thirteen major themes pertaining to the participant’s experience in the drug court program and four minor themes. The major themes that emerged from the study were: chaotic or neglectful upbringing, honeymoon period with drugs and alcohol, to escape or numb emotions, “The Party is Over”, consequences of the drug and alcohol lifestyle, positive sense of self, hope and future-oriented thinking, gaining back the things lost, honesty, the role of the judge, the role of therapy, the role of the support system; and drug court was a long and hard journey. Potential limitations, implications for practitioners, and suggestions for future research based on the findings are discussed.

 

 

 

Degree date: 2015

 

 

Advisor: Bucky, Steven F.

Committee member: Horvath, A. Thomas; Madero, James N.

University/institution: Alliant International University

Department: San Diego, CSPP

Assessing Drug Policy Implementation

Editor’s Note: Last week, we ran a showcase of new research on new developments in drug law enforcement. Today, we’re highlighting some recent work that aims to assess the implementation and maintenance of such regimes in the United States. These entries are part of an ongoing drug-related dissertation bibliography compiled by Jonathon Erlen, which was formerly published in the Social History of Alcohol and Drugs journal but is now periodically featured on the Points blog. Contact Dr. Erlen through the link above.

Assessing the effects of Florida’s anti-pill mill law on prescription drug related health outcomes

Author: Kinsell, Heidi Shoemake

 

Abstract: Prescription drug abuse and the related mortality and morbidity have been a particular problem in Florida. Over the past fifteen years, Florida became a major source of prescription drug diversion due primarily to the abundance of dishonest pain management clinics or “pill mills” operating in the state. Given that the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs is a widespread public health problem with consequences that extend beyond the individual, and it is essential that policies are based on data-driven evidence to be able to improve population health outcomes. Therefore, the goal of this study was to assess the effectiveness of multifactorial pain clinic legislation on mitigating the health consequences of prescription drug abuse. Analyses indicate that there was a greater decreasing trend over time in Florida after implementation of HB 7095, the anti-pill mill law for prescription drug related deaths and inpatient discharges for prescription drug poisonings. While small, there was also a slightly greater decreasing trend for prescription drug poisoning emergency department (ED) visits in Florida after implementation of the anti-pill mill law. Policy environments are extremely complex and always changing so a mixture of policy approaches may need to be considered.Read More »

New Research in Drug Enforcement

Editor’s Note: Frequent Points readers are aware of Jonathon Erlen’s ongoing bibliography of dissertations related to alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Entries were formerly published in the Social History of Alcohol and Drugs journal but have since moved to the Points blog. Below are a few recent highlights concerning the sometimes problematic implementation and enforcement of drug laws. Contact Dr. Erlen through the link above.

 

Tokin up in the 5280: Insight into how Denver police officers make sense of, and define, interpret, and react to the legalization of marijuana

Author: Hoofnagle, Kara K.

Abstract: Laws surrounding the possession, use, and distribution of marijuana have undergone many changes for over a century. Political pressures and social prejudices have most often been the cause of these changes, rather than scientific research or rational thinking. As a result, the law has sometimes lagged behind social practice as in the current case in much of the U.S., including Colorado. In such an environment, it often falls on a police officer’s definition, interpretation, and reaction to the laws to determine the extent to which certain laws and sanctions are enforced. Read More »

Points Supports the National Endowment for the Humanities

Until last week, Points readers might have thought Donald Trump’s occasional and inconsistent public statements on marijuana represented his greatest stake in any of the blog’s more obvious topics of interest. His appointment of hardline – though increasingly embattled – Attorney General Jeff Sessions attested to his aloofness if not hostility toward the issue, even if several commentators believe cracking down on pot will be an uphill political battle.

However, the most alarming recent development from the White House is the president’s proposal to eliminate the National Endowment for the Humanities, a program that has supported several of the blog’s featured authors, contributing editors, and readers. We urge you to please call your Senate and House representatives to oppose de-funding critical projects by the NEH and other relevant grant-awarding government bodies.

Read More »