Home > Romancing opiates: pharmacological lies and the addiction bureaucracy.

Dalrymple, Theodore (2006) Romancing opiates: pharmacological lies and the addiction bureaucracy. New York: Encounter Books .


For two hundred years, addiction to opiates has seemed both dangerous and glamorous. Countless writers, from Coleridge and De Quincey to William Burroughs and Irving Walsh, have invested it with deep philosophical significance. Addicts are presumed to be in touch with profound mysteries of which non-addicts are ignorant. Dalrymple shows that doctors, psychologists and social workers, all of them uncritically accepting addicts' descriptions of addiction, have employed these literary myths in creating an equal and opposite myth of quasi-treatment. Using evidence from literature and pharmacology and drawing on examples from his own clinical experience, Dalrymple shows that addiction is not a disease, but a response to personal and existential problems. He argues that withdrawal from opiates is not the serious medical condition, but a relatively trivial experience. He says that criminality causes addiction far more often than addiction causes criminality.
Item Type:Book
Date:2006
Call No:BL
Pages:146 p.
Publisher:Encounter Books
Place of Publication:New York
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB 5407 (Available)
Subjects:B Substances > Opioids (opiates)
B Substances > Opioids (opiates) > Heroin
F Concepts in psychology > Attitude and behaviour > Attitude toward substance use
T Demographic characteristics > Substance user
T Demographic characteristics > Intravenous / injecting drug user

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