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 Featured Title
When Good Drugs Go Bad
Opium, Medicine, and the Origins of Canada's Drug Laws
Dan Malleck  

$95.00 Hardcover
Release Date: 7/15/2015
ISBN: 9780774829199    

$34.95 Paperback
Release Date: 2/15/2016
ISBN: 9780774829205    

320 Pages


About the Book

There is something enduring about the image of the Victorian drug addict, languishing in the smoky confines of an underground opium den, the embodiment of moral lassitude. When Good Drugs Go Bad reveals that in nineteenth-century Canada, most Canadians were drug users -- everyday people taking addictive drugs prescribed by their doctors and purchased at the local pharmacy.

Throughout the 1800s, opium and cocaine could be easily obtained to treat a range of ailments. Drug dependency, when it occurred, was considered a matter of personal vice. Near the end of the century, attitudes shifted and access to drugs became more restricted. How did this happen?

In this intoxicating history, Dan Malleck examines the conditions that led to Canada’s current drug laws. Drawing on newspaper accounts, medical and pharmacy journals, professional association files, asylum documents, physicians' case books, and pharmacy records, he demonstrates how a number of social, economic, and cultural forces converged in the early 1900s to influence lawmakers and criminalize addiction. His research exposes how social concerns about drug addiction had less to do with the long pipe and shadowy den than with lobbying by medical associations, a growing pharmaceutical industry, and national concern about the morality and future of the nation.

About the Author(s)

Dan Malleck is an associate professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Brock University.

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures

Introduction: Its Baneful Influences
1 Medicating Canada before Regulation
2 Opium in Nineteenth-Century Medical Knowledge
3 Canada’s First Drug Laws
4 Chinese Opium Smoking and Threats to the Nation
5 Medicine, Addiction, and Ideas of Nation
6 Madness and Addiction in the Asylums of English Canada
7 Proprietary Medicines and the Nation’s Health
8 Regulating Proprietary Medicine
9 Drug Laws and the Creation of Illegality
Conclusion: Baneful Influences



"When Good Drugs Go Bad will stand for a long time as an essential volume in every drug scholar’s library, not only for its encyclopedic detail and insightful analysis but for the sheer pleasure of reading Dan Malleck as he recounts the history of drug regulation in Canada."
-- Joseph Spillane, co-author of Federal Drug Control: The Evolution of Policy and Practice

"This book will be of great interest to scholars, students of drug policy and social policy more generally, and indeed to anyone interested in how Canada’s current systems of drug control were formed by history."
-- Virginia Berridge, author of Demons: Our Changing Attitudes to Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drugs

Sample Chapter

Sample Chapter [PDF]

Related Topics


Other Ways To Order

In Canada, order your copy of When Good Drugs Go Bad from UTP Distribution at:

UTP Distribution
5201 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 5T8

Phone orders: 1(800)565-9523 or (416)667-7791
Fax orders: 1(800)221-9985 or (416)667-7832

Ordering information for customers outside Canada

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