The Harrison Narcotics Act (1914) was enacted to ensure the government got their cut in the addiction game. Usage of heroin or cocaine was not illegal, but selling it without paying the taxes was akin to bootlegging.
Here is where the seeds of addiction were being sewn bureaucratically. This hustler Francis Harrison from New York used his power as a Representative to narrow the control of “dope” and industrialize addiction.
This was before the “anti biotic” time so pills didn’t cure they treated symptoms. Since everything from syphilis to bronchitis had pain or discomfort as a symptom, cocaine or heroin were commonly prescribed creating addicts.
I recently saw several intake forms from an addiction clinic in Louisiana from the early 1900’s. The form asked when the addicts first started taking the drugs. All the answers I saw were from medical problems; so when the problem went away the prescription stopped. No such thing as detox, just a cold start to street drugs.
One other note about these forms was that woman were over represented in rehabilitation clinics at this time. There are numerous factors that could be the reason, woman generally go to the doctor more than man at this time, childbirth required 5 to 7 days hospitalized in that time, not to mention men were largely occupied with bootlegging around this time.
I am really interested in the addiction epidemic. The hypocrisy and corporate greed astound me , as does the malpractice of doctors prescribing medicine and the complacency of the pharmacist filling the script. Every family has been touched by this epidemic and the drama surrounding an addicts life keeps the veil of responsibility down tight over the faces of the guilty.
When I used to talk about this issue I would mention the “Rolling Stones” song about “Momma’s Little Helpers” back in the 60’s as evidence this ain’t no new problem. After studying further I see that we missed celebrating the hundred year anniversary of addiction in the U.S. by a few decades probably.
It seems that all along woman have been targeted and relentlessly pursued by the medical and pharmaceutical industry for as long as they’ve both existed.
We have to find a way to stop blue collar crime sooner, and that’s what this is. We can’t keep hearing whispers and echoes of addiction and focus on the addict. Logic follows that doctors, secretaries, pharmacists, techs, insurance representatives, government officials etc… have caused more addiction, crime, and death than any street dealer could hope to.
The difference between the street dealer and the other jokers is one has a license and pays taxes, the other keeps all his money. The difference between the street addict and the poseur addict is similar. The poseur addict looks down on the street addict cause they have insurance and a licensed dealer, the street addict doesn’t care where it comes from as long as they get high.
So with medical folks looking down on street dealers and poseur addicts looking down on street addicts no one pays attention to the real problem, all of them are pawns in the addiction game! Use as much caution going to the doctors office as the street addict does going to the trap cause the only difference is the furnishings in many cases.