The anthropological study of drug use dates to the 1930s, a period that witnessed the emergence of an illicit drug subculture in urban areas of the U.S. as well as the earliest clashes between Native American ritual users of psychotropic drugs and the criminal justice system. Propelled significantly by the re-appearance of street drug users after World War II and the recognition of syringe-mediated transmission of HIV/AIDS during the 1980s, anthropologists have fashioned an ethnographic, immersion-based approach to the study of drug use in diverse settings across the globe. In addition to documenting the significant and often little-known role drugs have played in human societies through time, anthropologists make practical contributions to public health approaches concerning the health consequences of drug consumption and negative social consequences of harsh laws and policing practices. There will be a book signing after the talk.
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