North Americans love to indulge in psychoactive substances to enhance or manage their moods. Whether with caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, energy drinks, pharmaceuticals, or street drugs, users participate in a culture of self-medication and pleasure. A “drug-free America” seems to be a fantasyland that most do not want to inhabit. High considers a fundamental question about drug policy and social norms: Why do we endorse the use of some drugs while criminalizing the use of others? This book addresses ideological divisions in research, policy, and cultural norms to fill in a bigger picture of drug use practices.
Ingrid Walker is an associate professor of American studies at the University of Washington, Tacoma.