Quick Fixes
Drugs in America from Prohibition to the 21st Century Binge
Part of the Jacobin series
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$24.95$19.9620% off
272 pages / July 2023 / 9781804290170
July 2023 / 9781804290200

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A look at drugs through the lens of societal change and a look at social change through the lens of drugs.

Drugs are ubiquitous in the past and present of capitalist society. What can looking at drugs help us to understand about our society?

From coffee to ketamine, drugs are everywhere in contemporary America.

Americans are in the midst of a world-historic drug binge. Opiates, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, marijuana, antidepressants, antipsychotics—across the board, consumption has shot up in the 21st century. At the same time, the United States is home to the largest prison system in the world, justified in part by a now zombified “war” on drugs. How did we get here?

Quick Fixes is a look at American society through the lens of its pharmacological crutches. Though particularly acute in recent decades, the contradiction between America’s passionate love and intense hatred for drugs has been one of its defining characteristics for over a century. Through nine chapters, each devoted to the modern history of a drug or class of drugs, Fong examines Americans’ fraught relationship with psychoactive substances. As society changes it produces different forms of stress, isolation, and alienation. These changes, in turn, shape the sorts of drugs society chooses.

By laying out the histories, functions, and experiences of our chemical comforts, the hope is to help answer that ever perplexing question: what does it mean to be an American?

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