Drug history and [sub]cultures

I had the chance to speak at a virtual summer school held by the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare (CSHHH) at the University of Strathclyde and Glasgow Caledonian University (the Centre is a shared operation). I was a last minute addition because my colleague Jim Mills, an expert in Asian drug… Continue reading Drug history and [sub]cultures

Drug control wasn’t initially about addiction, it was about death

If you are trying to understand drug control, it is a presentist mistake to begin with opium. (presentism is the fallacy of judging or viewing the past through values and ideas of the present, rather than understanding them in their historical context.) Although many national and international agreements signed at the beginning of the 20th… Continue reading Drug control wasn’t initially about addiction, it was about death

Fentanyl crisis and historical perspectives

Over the past month or so I've been mulling over the current opioid crisis and what it means, and of course what history can tell us about it.  It culminated in an op ed in the Globe and Mail entitled "Why is everyone talking about painkillers, but not about pain?" I felt that this article in… Continue reading Fentanyl crisis and historical perspectives

Ask and you shall receive; seek and ye shall find.

So I've been a little lax on updates and am trying to catch up. this post is actually about something I found in Saskatchewan in autumn 2012. But some background. My research has involved a lot of digging through pharmacy records.  I've done some detailed data collection of records from pharmacies in Ontario, Alberta, and… Continue reading Ask and you shall receive; seek and ye shall find.

Whose control is it, anyway?

So those upstart pharmacists and nurse practitioners want to edge in on doctors' business! Recently, across the country, various health practitioners have been seeking to expand their scope of practice. This is the legally defined range of activities they are allowed do. In the health system, especially, it is a highly contentious issue. Because unlike… Continue reading Whose control is it, anyway?

Why do pharmacists control access to certain drugs?

I had a student who is diabetic come to speak to me today, and in the meandering way conversations I get into with students go (usually my fault), she ended up asking the rhetorical question "why do I have to get my insulin from a pharmacist?" It is a good question.  As I noted in… Continue reading Why do pharmacists control access to certain drugs?