basket 0 items @ £0
View Basket

Review: Steven Poole\'s Non-Fiction Choice

Cover of  by Theodore Dalrymple

"This book blasts open with baleful force: "Addiction to opiates is a pretend rather than a real illness, treatment of which is pretend rather than real treatment." From his experience as a prison doctor, and his citations of medical literature, Dalrymple concludes that going cold turkey from heroin is not that big a deal (not as medically dangerous, for instance, as alcohol withdrawal), but that the bureaucracy of "help" for addicts is self-sustaining, since demand (from addicts persuaded that they need such help) increases to meet the professional self-interest of an ever-expanding supply. Interesting if true; but the argument appears also to depend on a tacit assumption that what is mainly or completely psychological cannot be a "real" illness. There is also a marvellously eccentric and angry strain of the book that blames the origin of the heroin "myth" on literature (Coleridge, De Quincey). That's just talking smack."

View article on source website

Enter your email address to receive your free ebook

By requesting this free eBook, you agree to let us email you
about future Harriman House offers. We will not sell your details
to a third party and you can un-subscribe at any time.
A valid email address is required to receive your download link.