To mark ‘Bicycle Day’, April 19th, a special episode on LSD and psychedelic history. The focus is on a new book of essays by Alan Piper which deconstructs some of the myths around the discovery of LSD, as well as taking a new look at some other aspects of the history of psychedelics. In a wide-ranging conversation, Alan guides us through some of the arguments in the book (which is available here).
A conversation with Dr Ben Boyce, ranging widely over some of the fundamental issues of the field, from how societies decide what to label as a ‘drug’ (and what this means), to prohibition itself and how this happens, through to heroin prescribing as a harm reduction practice. Ben is a prison educator, activist and author. His first book, Dr Junkie, is an autobiographical account of his experiences with addiction, crime and the penal system. He also hosts the Dr Junkie Show podcast, where an alternate version of this conversation also appears as episode 109. More details of his work can be found here. You can read a couple of the papers referred to in the conversation here and here.
The second of a two-part conversation with Mark Gilman. In this part, we pick up the story in 1999, when Mark moved from Lifeline to the Home Office. The conversation ranges widely, covering treatment, recovery, social justice and crime, reflecting the unique breadth of Mark’s contributions to the field.
The first of a two-part conversation with Mark Gilman. Mark has been a major figure in the field over four decades and directly involved in many of the most significant developments we have seen. In this part, we talk about Mark’s early life, his work with the late Geoff Pearson researching heroin use in the North of England, and his pioneering work with Lifeline in the 1980s and 1990s.
This episode takes a long view of global drug policy, arguing that shifts in global power have always had a significant impact on drug control throughout the last 200 years. What then might be the implications for drug law reform of the widely-held claim that the twenty-first century will turn out to be the Asian Century, just as the twentieth was the American Century and the nineteenth the British Century? Further exploration of this idea, and links to references, can be found here.
This episode explores the issue of prescribing heroin to people with heroin problems, a practice with a long history and usually today termed Heroin Assisted Treatment or HAT. The episode draws on a recent research project exploring the controversial work of Dr John Marks in the late 1980s and early 1990s. A paper describing the project is available here, as well as a shorter discussion of some of the issues here.