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Junk Medicine

Is drug addiction really nothing more than a social construct? The author of this polemic believes so

Is drug addiction really nothing more than a social construct? The author of this polemic believes so



In Junk Medicine the author – retired psychiatrist Dr Anthony Daniels, writing under the psudonym Theodore Dalrymple, controversially argues that the treatment of drug addicts has medicalised a non-illness and created an industry of substance abuse management.

He suggests withdrawal is not a serious medical problem and that by treating addiction as an illness society and the medical profession have allowed moral issues to be disguised as treatable medical problems - with the addicts viewed as victims of the drug.

He argues that literature past and present has dramatised and romanticised drug addiction.

He believes that its medical management and public perception have been coloured far more by the way it is portrayed than by scientific research.

As a concept I found this thought-provoking and worth the effort of reading the book.

However, I found the style heavy and the book long-winded. I would have enjoyed this far more as a short journal article, and would have been equally stimulated to reflect.

Dr Clare Etherington

Rating: 1/5

Junk Medicine by Theodore Dalrymple Junk medicine by Theodore Dalrymple

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