An Earlier Use Of Drugs/Drugs Epidemic/War On Drugs

Ok, so let me first say I'm not arguing any of the above is desirable or healthy and drugs blights lives.

With that caveat out the way I was wondering, is it possible to have the large scale use of drugs such as pot , lsd , opiates prior to the 1960s in the US abd western europe, what would drive that?

Would it require a war or the large scale deployment of troops to be exposed to a culture where its use was the norm?


Why didn't we see the same effect after Korea or WW1 or 2, or even in the 30s when Britain had troops garrisoned the empire that covered a lot of those areas that are drugs producers.

And without Vietnam does drugs become so mainstream in the west?

Did the ability to travel more easily quickly to far flung places like the far east, Afghanistan and Nepal for example expose western youths to drugs more?

As a wee challenge from 1900 come up with a scenario where drugs use increases in a similar way to the 1960s /70s in 1st or 2nd world countries?

In the opposite side of the coin, how long can the widespread use of drugs be prevented or can it be avoided?

I'll reiterate I don't think any of this would be good , but I am intrested to understand what the unique set of geopolitical and social circumstances created or fueled the use of illicit drugs at that time in history.

Regards

Butch
 
In the opposite side of the coin, how long can the widespread use of drugs be prevented or can it be avoided?
Already there, with Tobacco and Alcohol.
Prohibition didn't work out as planned, and neither did the 'War on Drugs'
The main problem that nearly all drugs started out legal, with a legitimate use for treating a malady.
During the ACW, Opiods were used as treatment for dysentery, besides pain from surgery.
During WWII, Amphetamines for alertness, and postwar for weight loss and allergy treatment.
Quaaludes for sleeping disorders in the '70s.
And list goes on and on.

But you will always have people wanting to self medicate. Or find use from the side effects.

Thats where addition comes in, physical and mental. Caffeine is also a drug, don't forget.
 
Thanks, so what caused the seemingly huge increase in drugs use in the 60s as opposed to say in the late 40s or after ww1 or ww2 thats what am trying to get too?

I mean I would have thought that after the numbers of servicemen in ww2 that people getting high on amphetamines would be huge but that doesn't seem to have happened.
 
Thanks, so what caused the seemingly huge increase in drugs use in the 60s as opposed to say in the late 40s or after ww1 or ww2 thats what am trying to get too?

I mean I would have thought that after the numbers of servicemen in ww2 that people getting high on amphetamines would be huge but that doesn't seem to have happened.
Nah, there was a lot of amphetamine abuse in the '50s, and got worse in the '60s.
That said, I do miss the Amphetamine Inhalers, that went from OTC to prescription in 1960 or so.
Even then, Doctors would write scripts for you, no questions asked, really.
'Doc, I got a stuffy nose, near all the time'
<writing on pad>
'Here you go, no limit on refills. That should take care of it'
Ahh, the good old days of 'Dr. FeelGood'
But hey, I knew my limits and didn't end up like Elvis.
But not many people do.
By 1970, the inhalers were gone, but could get scripts for the new 'Actifed' tablets, recently made famous during the Space Program.
Unintended Consequences, those were pretty much were Pseudoephedrine.
A problem for a later day.
What was seemingly safe at the moment, was shown not to be later.
 
Drug use was widespread in the late 19th century (mostly opiates), and doesn't particularly seem to have not been a problem at any point since (and for that matter if you include alcohol, as you really should, it's obviously an ancient problem). It wasn't just something that popped up in the 1960s. Different drugs got different amounts of attention and provoked different responses at different times, but the amount of correlation between how severe the problem was at a given time and how much attention it got or how harsh the official responses were does not appear to be very strong.
 
Cocaine and morphine were fairly common ingredients in patent medicines up to the Progressive era, and weren't criminalized for recreational use until 1914. If the Progressive movement is weaker or doesn't focus on drug regulation as much and Prohibition is never passed, its plausible that recreational drug use never comes to be seen as a matter for law enforcement.
 
Drug use was widespread in the late 19th century (mostly opiates),
And by white Americans mostly as medicine, it might help to make it a more social activity.
Unfortunately opium dens were associated with the Chinese and got a racist backlash, I'm not sure how to fix that.
Maybe the idea gets appropriated and moved out of Chinatowns?

Marijuana is even easier, the kind that grows in Europe and makes rope and the drug kind weren't crossbred until the 1960s.
That made a drug strain that could better grow in Europe, have some early botanist figure it out sometime during the age of exploration.
 
Ahh, the good old days of 'Dr. FeelGood'
Friends with Bennies.

For that matter as you observed the pre-prohibition social contest over alcohol amounted to an "epidemic" "war on drugs." Drugs won that time too.

yours,
Sam R.
 
Friends with Bennies.

For that matter as you observed the pre-prohibition social contest over alcohol amounted to an "epidemic" "war on drugs." Drugs won that time too.

yours,
Sam R.
I don't miss all the drunk drivers that used to be around, or the so-called social drinkers, whom many were just semi-functional alcoholics.
One often overlooked part of the '80s.
 
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