THE CULT OF PHARMACOLOGY
IN HIS GROUNDBREAKING BOOK, THE CULT OF PHARMACOLOGY, Richard DeGrandpre, discusses America's relationship with a wide range of substances, from coffee to heroin.
Over the past century, certain drugs have come to be regarded as ‘‘all-powerful’’ substances; their effects on the user and society determined simply by their pharmacology. Author DeGrandpre exposes the fallacy of such a belief through an analysis of the characterization of drugs as either ‘‘demons’’ or ‘‘angels’’.
Cocaine, he maintains, is seen as a ‘‘demon’’ drug, a dangerous and addictive substance that corrupts all those who come into contact with it. Ritalin, on the other hand, is regarded as an ‘‘angel’’, widely used in the treatment of children with (ADHD).
Yet, according to DeGrandpre chemically the two drugs are very similar: it is social context which has shaped their meaning, not pharmacology.
The Drug War is based on the illusion that we can prevent people from becoming addicted to certain substances that have been demonized in the media for far too long. Just like Reefer Madness was based on a lie, so too are the allegations against kratom.