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Addiction to Drugs/Views on drug addiction throughout history


So in the past, people were put in insane asylums for being addicts. The public and medical views on it are blurry to me. Also today, I know that this is not usually case anymore, but again, the reason why is a little blurry. It's hard for me to find medical and psychiatric studies about addiction, that shape our views on addiction now. Please answer soon. Thank you for your help!

Hi Kira,

I apologize for my late response.  There is a book that covers this topic extremely well.  It's called Slaying the Dragon.  Here's the link for it on Amazon:

The public and medical views continue to vacillate.  The idea of addiction as a disease has it's adherents and detractors.  Both maintain fierce arguments for their position.  The public is not fed good, useful information about addiction, with the exception of a rare instructive show like the PBS series called Moyers on Addiction.  

There are many medical and psychiatric studies on addiction, if you look in the right place.  There are about a dozen periodicals that you can access at a university library.  There are websites like:

and many others.  That last one,, is particularly useful for the reasons you are seeking.  You can spend literally days combing through all these resources, and others you can find with an internet search.

Hope this helps,

Addiction to Drugs

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Peter L.


I am available to answer any questions about substance use, abuse, and dependence. I can also offer perspective on treatment options and how to motivate someone to get help. I have over 27 years of experience as a substance abuse treatment professional, working with adolescents and adults in a variety of treatment settings. I feel I can answer just about any question in this topic area but can also access reference sources, or direct you to these for additional information gathering or education on your own.


I am a professional addictions counselor working in a very highly respected treatment center, as well as having a private practice in two states.

Masters Degree in Behavioral Science Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor in three states. Also an Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor

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