Like so many accounts of addiction, this special issue begins with a solitary figure: Picasso’s The Absinthe Drinker: Portrait of Angel Fernández de Soto (1903) captures a moment in time, a wobbly drinker with a drained glass (fig. 1). The image in blue and gray might stand as an emblem of the hope and challenge of conceptualizing addiction. For even as the painting showcases a single figure, holding a pipe with a glass of absinthe at his table, de Soto is not alone. The absinthe bar serves a community, one that is implied yet invisible. There is bar staff providing the drinks to customers. There is Picasso himself, who captures de Soto, a friend and fellow painter, on canvas. This preoccupied drinker is lost in thought, yet he is surrounded by those who supply and chronicle his addiction.
This opening paragraph telegraphs a shift in the field of addiction studies itself: turning away from a broken brain model of addiction, addiction studies is experiencing what we might call a “humanist turn.” This special issue of English Language Notes contributes to such a turn: devoted to the topic of addiction and the humanities, “Addictions” draws attention to the range of fields—from history, literature, and critical race studies to theology, philosophy, and creative writing—that wrestle with this phenomenon, shaping the portraits and stories around it. In the same spirit of considering the people around Picasso’s de Soto, this special issue is born of a desire to investigate around and behind familiar portraits of addiction, reframing the conversation in several key areas: addiction and history, addiction and bias, and addiction and the author. This introduction takes up each of these concerns in turn, laying the groundwork for the essays that follow.
First, this issue approaches addiction not as the story of an isolated individual but instead as a study in relationships. An addict exists, most obviously, in relation to a substance or behavior, figured in Picasso’s framing of the man and his glass. And there has been much to say about this singular addict, with a body driven by a set of compulsions or desires: the field of addiction research routinely approaches its subject by considering biology,1 personal history, or what has been called the damaged will.2 But, as the absent presence in Picasso’s barroom reveals, the phenomenon of addiction relies on a human community. This community might include others who share the addiction, or the structures and people that supply the addictive substance or provide the occasion for addictive behavior. The community includes the figures who support, exploit, condemn, or sit with the addict. This group might be chosen or assigned, a group of believers or of those profiled by policies, a set of friends or those figures structurally positioned together. This issue brings greater visibility to that addict community, reaching out beyond the singular figure to locate addiction in a group, culture, or nation.
The issue’s second major intervention is the link of addiction to historical epistemes and capitalist systems, which is again implied yet invisible in Picasso’s portrait. The figure of de Soto, a friend and studio mate of Picasso’s who later dies in the Spanish Civil War, speaks to a time and place: he is a young man, as Picasso himself describes him, an “amusing wastrel” who is part of a community of artists and drinkers.3 Does de Soto see himself as a wastrel, imbricated in this specific time and place and conscripted to tell a particular story of addiction for an audience? De Soto does not, at least here, seem to be telling his own story. He instead stands in for an interwar community of artists, and his image becomes a highly commercialized one.4 The necessity of studying addiction in terms of historical and political epistemes—and in connection to capital, from the sale of the drink to the sale of the painting itself—has come into sharp relief in the last decade. How is addiction linked to economic systems and interests, including the commercializing of the addict’s cravings?5 How do race and gender, in particular, figure in such systems surrounding addiction?6 This last question fuels some of the most pressing current research on addiction, as scholars in this issue and beyond wrestle with the kinds of prejudice and social injustice that surround the label addict.
Finally, in depicting de Soto, Picasso represents a fellow artist and painter, another preoccupation of this special edition. The connection between addiction and artists and writers is long-standing, extending from Socrates’s symposium to the present day.7 Addiction has been deemed a source of inspiration, as the spirit that breathes creative expression into the artist, yet it has also been called a force of destruction, unraveling art and lives.8 This special issue takes up this link of addiction and artistry, posing the kinds of questions that might arise in looking at the portrait: Is Picasso participating in this scene he paints, chronicling de Soto’s consumption of absinthe as he drains his own glass? Is he, to pose a question familiar from Bronislaw Malinowski forward, a witness or participant?9 Likely, of course, the answer is both, and ultimately, Picasso’s portrait challenges perspective and perception, representing a wobbly figure who seems a physical representation of a phenomenon: drunkenness.
In different ways, then, each of the essays here moves behind the singular image of the addict to view instead a history of relationships, communities, faith, and capital that is at times surprising, and at other points all too familiar. The conversations that unfold in this issue, across history, literature, philosophy, creative writing, and medicine, testify powerfully to the range of innovative research on and thinking about addiction. Working within distinct disciplines, geographies, and cultural contexts, the authors in this edition contribute to and effect the “humanist turn” in addiction studies.
This introduction opened by laying out three ways in which the issue pushes on current studies of addiction by reframing the field: addiction and history, addiction and bias, and addiction and the author. I return to this framework in introducing the essays in the issue itself. But first it is worth noting those definitional essays that bookend the collection: beginning with Phil Withington’s exploration of the term drunkard and its longitudinal uses, the collection ends with the careful study of addiction by Steve Sussman and Erika Wright. Taken together, these essays offer anatomies of key terms associated with the phenomenon of addiction. They also reveal the continuing challenges of defining a concept that so many readers and writers imagine they already know. As Sussman and Wright illuminate in detail, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which helps physicians diagnose and categorize illnesses, continues to debate what to call this phenomenon of addiction. While earlier editions of the DSM included alcoholism and compulsive disorders under the mantle of addiction, the most recent issue forgoes the notion of substance dependency and the category of addiction.10 Instead, as Sussman and Wright discuss, it classifies substance use in connection with a range of other disorders. As a result, the DSM no longer classifies addiction as a singular phenomenon. It exists on a continuum of disorders, attaching itself to particular substances, to behaviors, or to perceptions.
Does this mean that addiction no longer exists? No. But it does mean that the cordoning off of addiction and the addict as a singular problem—an individual affliction that is discrete and different from other medicalized diseases—seems no longer helpful or accurate. Rather, addiction might be seen as one mechanism among a range of others for coping with human life and its attendant pains. Addiction might be a phenomenon common to all of us, an insight offered in this issue with both Jose Cree’s study of early modern addiction as theory of mind and Anthony Cunningham’s investigation into addiction as a way of being in the world. Everyone has more or less successful ways of meeting and of psychologically reacting to the challenges of human life. Redefining addiction away from a model of the substance-dependent addict begins the process of rethinking judgmental constructs between one group and another, between addicts and nonaddicts, the ill and the healthy. “It is questionable,” as one study puts it, “whether ‘normal’ performance should be a norm.”11
Addiction: History and Community
Reframing the study of addiction away from the singular individual’s struggles with substances or behaviors, this issue’s first section, “Early Addictions,” offers three essays that challenge the modern historical boundaries of addiction. Doing so illuminates addiction in relation to faith and nation, decentering the individual addict to concentrate instead on collective practices. This longer history of addiction, which is only beginning to be told, revises its conventional medical history, which dates the concept to the turn of the nineteenth century.12 This is when physicians in both Britain and America diagnosed alcoholism as a nervous disorder. First, around 1800 the British navy physician Thomas Trotter, who has been called “the first scientific investigator of drunkenness,” argued that habitual drunkenness is itself a disease.13 Nearly simultaneously, Benjamin Rush in America (one of the original signatories of the Declaration of Independence and a man deemed the father of American psychiatry) also defined drunkenness as a disease.14
The work of Trotter and Rush ushered in a “new paradigm,” medical historians tell us. This new paradigm “constituted a radical break with traditional ideas about the problems involved in drinking and alcohol.”15 Specifically, opinion shifted on habitual drunkenness (and in turn on opium use and other addictive behaviors) from moral condemnation to a disease model, the key feature of modern definitions of addiction. As the historian of science Roy M. MacLeod notes: “Not until the last half of the 19th century did the scientific appreciation of alcoholism become general. It was too easy to view alcoholism simply as immoral excess, its cure, simple moral restraint, and its expense, a personal responsibility.”16
In understanding the shift in viewpoint on excessive drinking, scholars not only stress the moralizing of earlier periods, but they also point to earlier conceptions of drinking as a matter of choice. Harry Levine, for example, discusses how “during the 17th century, and for the most part of the 18th, the assumption was that people drank and got drunk because they wanted to, and not because they ‘had’ to.” By contrast, “in the modern definition of alcoholism, the problem is not that alcoholics love to get drunk, but that they cannot help it—they cannot control themselves.”17
If 1800 has been deemed a watershed moment in the “discovery” of addiction, the essays in “Early Addictions” by Withington, Jeffrey Wilson, and Cree instead reveal the rich variety of discourses on addiction before this point. The term drunkard emerged, we learn, as the result of religious and social pressures that pushed this term to the fore, replacing other labels for the drinker. State and religious figures deployed this derogatory term as fodder in the rise of a Puritan chorus, a process Withington chronicles in his essay. Wilson also investigates drinking in relation to social groups: his reading of Hamlet excavates the culture of alcoholism in relation to institutions, drawing attention to a privileged, upper-class expression of addiction as it relates to a royal, male community. Doing so highlights the connections between early modern drinking culture and modern fraternity life, underscoring the long history of addictive practices institutionally as well as personally, as seen in Wilson’s skillful weaving of autotheory into his essay.
Jose Cree’s study of addiction contrastingly studies addiction as a routine output of a properly functioning human body: addiction is formed within the self through a process of mind related to passion, the will, and habit. Yet, she argues, this addictive process differs between men and women, with women more likely to become addicted yet less likely to sustain an addiction, a contradiction that she explores in its prejudicial attitudes toward female subjects (a prejudice also taken up in Ellen Lansky’s essay on the drinking woman). In all three essays in “Early Addictions,” then, not only is addiction viewed as a premodern phenomenon but it is also one entangled with expressions of self and state sovereignty as they intersect with religion, nationality, and gender. Addiction is not, it turns out, a recent discovery or phenomenon—nor is it a solitary one.18
If addiction has a longer timeline than conventional scholarship acknowledges, it also has a more capacious and positive definition than modern audiences might expect. This issue pushes against modern conceptions of addiction by linking it to devotional practices globally. Three of the issue’s essays weave through positive forms of addiction: Ben Breen links addiction to study in the figure of Psalmanazar, whose opium addiction comes to signal his devotion to intellectual life; Utathya Chattopadhyaya’s essay reveals the devotional addiction at stake in consumption of bhang (cannabis) by rebels in India as they rise against British colonial rule; and Tony Cunningham’s reading of Mr. Stevens in Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day illuminates the challenges facing a devotional figure who relinquishes his own will, and indeed himself, in the service of a fading empire.
In their attention to devotional addiction, these essays take up an invitation delivered with the first uses of the term addict in English, when the word appeared in connection with religious communities. Addict experienced its first sustained use in printed texts from the 1530s, in the work of theologians who were translating the Bible and introducing the Reformed faith of Luther and Calvin to England.19 George Joye, who produced the first printed translation of several books of the Old Testament, offers one of the earliest usages of the term. Joye warns of mortal men “addict to this world” and against the ungodly who are “addict unto wickedness,” and “addict and all given to wickedness.”20 He also praises the faithful follower of God as an addict, asking God to “make fast thy promises to thy servant which is addict unto thy worship.”21
This range of the term addict suggests its broad association with different forms of attachment, including those linked to religion. Specifically, Reformed writings overtly celebrate addiction as an intense mode of devotion and commitment, and they express concern for misguided addictions to the improper faith. Following the etymology of “addiction” as ad + dīcere (to speak, to declare), these writings trumpet a model of addictive living. Positive invocations of addiction fill guidebooks on pious living. Barnabe Googe suggests that the addict dedicate himself specifically to prayer, and the collection A posie of gilloflowers (1580) inspires its readers to “addict all their doings towards the attainment of life everlasting.”22
Addiction, in these early guides to pious living, is encouraged. At the same time, writers admit that addiction is difficult. Not just anyone can achieve it. The popular text Of the Imitation of Christ (1580) concedes the challenge, writing how “few there be which addict themselves to the study of celestial things, because few can withdraw themselves, wholly from the love of this world.”23 Addiction requires a natural disposition and ability; it is not purely a matter of hard work or instruction. As John Huarte writes in 1594 that if a “child have not the disposition and ability, which is requisite for that science whereunto he will addict himself, it is a superfluous labor to be instructed therein by good schoolmasters.”24 Addiction is an inclination that the individual both does and does not control. Lancelot Andrews states how only by “being so visited, redeemed and saved, we might wholly addict, and give over ourselves, to the Service of Him who was Author of them all.”25 The ability to addict is both a gift and an effort.
For most of the sixteenth century, addiction, in its link to God and service, was not a problem; it was an achievement. To be an addict required commitment, vulnerability, hard work, and courage. To be an addict meant devoting oneself entirely to a calling —to scripture, to scholarship more generally, or to Christ. This notion of addiction as devotion, while largely unfamiliar to modern audiences, has not disappeared, as the essays by Breen, Chattopadhyaya, and Cunningham illuminate: such sixteenth-century links of addiction and devotion persist, in different time periods and geographies.
If this issue’s second section, “Addiction and Empire,” gently weaves through a sense of devotional addiction, it also offers a trenchant investigation of addiction’s more sinister uses for colonial and imperial rule. This section’s essays approach addiction in relation to organized systems of capital or, as Susan Zieger’s reframing reveals, logistics. Viewed through a colonial lens, addiction appears increasingly as disease or pathology, as with the preconceptions of Europeans toward Chinese opium users in Breen’s analysis, the English racialization of cannabis use in India in Chattopadhyaya’s piece, or the logistical nightmares of colonial trade and capital in Zieger’s essay.
The colonial context of addiction comes into sharp focus in Breen’s reading of impersonator George Psalmanazar who, playing to European ignorance, fashioned a fictive identity that drew on multiple addictions, including to idolatry, opium, God, and study. Breen illuminates opium’s Enlightenment-era associations with exotic foreignness from the European vantage point looking east, while also opening up the range of addictions indexed by a figure like Psalmanazar: he was able to transform his drug use from “vanity” or “extravagance” to a devotional aid in the study of God as part of an historical shift on views of opium within the British empire more broadly.
Chattopadhyaya’s analysis of cannabis, or bhang, also exposes the shifting and oppositional attitudes toward addiction, this time between rebels in India and the British colonial authorities who attempted to condemn and dismiss such political resistance. The colonial characterization of bhang operated as part of the broader English racialization of Indians as violent, irrational, and rebellious. Such discourses portrayed insurgency as lunacy, thereby robbing it of any rationality. Against this prejudicial view of bhang, Chattopadhyaya draws out the longer use of the substance in devotional and daily practice in India, as well as the European reliance on bhang as an object of colonial revenue. As in the case of Withington’s essay on the shifting representations of the drunkard, Chattopadhyaya reveals a lack of consistency in the descriptions of the effects of cannabis due to ideological and political motivations under colonial rule.
Addiction’s connection to sociopolitical systems, evident in the framing of the Indian rebels through imperialist logic, is a phenomenon explored directly in Zieger’s essay for this issue. She draws particular attention to the role of systems in understanding addiction: the structural organization of the state, and the compromised agency of subjects hampered within logistical systems. Zieger’s essay speaks to precisely how this “humanist turn” in addiction studies exposes the histories and political economies at stake in addiction. Addiction, she writes, “is never solely about individuals; it is the outcome of relations between broader systems,” which in the case of her essay concern labor, empire, and opium.
The capitalizing, commercializing, and racialization of drug use addressed in this section’s three essays by Breen, Chattopadhyaya and Zieger anticipates more recent events, namely the specter of addiction as it spans from the war on drugs to the opioid crisis. Recent US history telescopes the historical connection of discourses of addiction to prejudice—be it gendered, religious, nationalistic, or class prejudice. From President Ronald Reagan’s war on drugs to the opioid crisis, drug policies and addiction treatment fall along stark and particularly racialized lines. The war on drugs is one of the most prominent examples of a state-sanctioned discriminatory practice, one that led to the disproportionate incarceration of people of color.26 Even as Reagan claimed to address a pressing social problem when he announced this new war, only a tiny fraction of the American public considered the issue of drugs to be significant.27 “This fact was no deterrent to Reagan,” Michelle Alexander writes, “for the drug war from the outset had little to do with public concern about drugs and much to do with public concern about race. By waging a war on drug users and dealers, Reagan made good on his promise to crack down on the racially defined ‘others’—the undeserving.”28
The link of racialized bias to drug policy continues in the opioid crisis of the twenty-first century. Indeed, as Donna Murch puts it, “race made the opioid crisis.”29 She writes how “the success of OxyContin hinged on racially bifurcated understandings of addiction. The fundamental division between ‘dope’ and medicine, after all, has always been the race and class of users.”30 White drug users are sanctioned as “licit health seekers,” while Black users are condemned as “illicit pleasure seekers.” “Our ideas of drug use—which kinds are legal, and which are not—are steeped in the metalanguage of race,” Murch writes.31
The use of drug policy to criminalize communities of color stands in stark contrast to the linking of drugs to pain management in white communities. In their research on the opioid epidemic—what Helena B. Hansen and Julie Netherland call the “white drug war”—white drug use is treated as a clinical problem, a medical disease that remains decriminalized.32 Indeed, the opioid crisis is labeled a public health issue while, as Anjali Om writes, “crack addition was only ever considered a criminal justice issue that prompted decades of mass (and hugely disparate) incarceration.”33
Further, access to both pain medications and treatment for addiction falls along class and racial lines as the pain of middle- and upper-class white patients is taken more seriously than that of patients of color or poorer patients in general.34 “Physicians prescribed to people who persuasively represented their suffering as medical,” David Herzberg writes. And this task proves “easiest for the white-collar men and especially women portrayed in medical literature (and pharmaceutical advertising) as prone to nerves, anxiety, obesity, lack of ‘pep,’ and so forth.”35 Both policy and treatment options preserve middle- and upper-class white privilege: white patients are granted access to legal pain medications and then, as addicts, offered treatment options in recovery programs.36 By contrast, Black and Latinx patients suffering from drug addiction are more frequently arrested and incarcerated rather than treated, in part because of drug policy itself.37 This distinction between prescription opioid medication and illicit drugs bifurcates white addiction as a product of neurochemical addiction associated with medication and racialized addiction as associated with crime.38 Indeed, the more lenient laws and sentencing for users of opioids causes one writer to “wonder if this new policy [on opioids] is motivated by a desire to provide much needed health support for predominately white victims of opioid addiction while increasing harsh sentences for black dealers.”39
Beyond policy and treatment, media reporting on addiction further reinforces racialized bias. The corruption of pharmaceutical companies has become a mainstream media topic, and the white users addicted to opioids frequently appear in such media accounts as the victims of corporate greed. Accounts of “suburban” drug use frequently feature an element of surprise and a detailed etiology of an individual, framed through the lens of tragedy.40 Emphasis lies on the role of big pharma and the medical establishment, from doctors to pharmaceutical suppliers, in pushing a product associated, early on, with problems.41 By contrast, when reporting on people of color arrested for using or selling drugs—often framed as arrests in “urban” communities—media reports chronicle criminal charges, without any etiology to build empathy and without recognition of the biased policies or uneven enforcement that led to such arrests in the first place. Drugs, when linked to communities of color, come with threats of violence and criminal activity; drugs, when reported in white communities, evoke specters of tragedy and wasted potential.
This oppositional dynamic in addiction policy and reporting—between treatment for white users and incarceration or disenfranchisement for people of color—is not new. The specific link of drugs to racialized attacks extends back to the first uses of drugs in America. For even as soldiers wounded during the Civil War received opium and laudanum (a pain killer derived from opium), claims of opium use among Chinese immigrants offered fodder in the Chinese exclusion debates of the 1880s and 1890s. “In the United States, opium and opioid derivatives distributed to sick and wounded soldiers during the Civil War made opium the first mass-consumption narcotic in US history,” Max Mishler writes. Yet “the negative connotations of opium use, however, were reserved for Chinese immigrants rather than veterans or middle-class white women addicted to morphine.”42 Just as Reagan’s war on drugs effectively disenfranchised millions of prisoners, largely Black and Brown men, from voting life, the nineteenth-century division between white and Chinese opium users disenfranchised and excised communities of color from the political realm.43
This survey of addiction and racial discrimination chronicles an acute policy problem. But it also reveals the importance of history. It uncovers a clear through line, from the attack on Chinese immigrant communities in the nineteenth century, to the arrest of Black and Brown individuals under Reagan’s war on drugs, to the current attitudes toward white opioid users. And this through line extends even further backward. It connects to the prejudicial attitudes evident from the first introduction of the word addict in English, as suggested above in relation to gender, religion, class, and nation. Addict is a term affiliated with allegedly weak women, as Cree reveals, and drinking women come under attack more broadly.44 The charge of addict also underpinned religious tensions between the godly Protestants and their Catholic or high-Protestant foes.45 Or, in another articulation of addiction and prejudice, the nationalist accusations against the sosspot Dutch, the swaggering Germans, or the drunken Danish filled early English drinking literature, upholding a sense of English superiority against their European counterparts, as Wilson’s essay reveals.46 By the eighteenth century, Hogarth’s gin lane, like the gin acts regulating distribution and consumption, chronicled anxiety about working-class drinking, as cheap distilled liquor became available to masses of people beyond aristocratic tipplers.47 Such English practices of control at home were intimately linked to British imperial efforts in Taiwan (Formosa) and India, as the essays by Breen, Chattopadhyaya, and Zieger illuminate.
Addiction and the Author
Women, religious dissidents, foreigners, colonial subjects, people of color, and the working classes: all come under attack as addicts. This is the longer history of fear surrounding addiction, excessive consumption, and social control. And, as suggested above, such derision of one group by another punctuates narratives on addiction going forward in ways that morph and change with context and geography. Such preoccupations about addicts and the structures that contain them drive the essays in the issue’s penultimate section, “Addiction and the Author.” The two essays by Lansky and Cunningham wrestle with figures emmeshed in structural forces beyond their control, as gendered and national identities constrain the individual addict. Lansky’s essay for this issue, offered as both analysis and autotheory, takes up the issue of the drinking woman through a reading of Hemingway. “Hills Like White Elephants” centers on a drinking woman in conversation with her male partner, a sharp contrast to a history that excises or condemns the voices of female drinkers. Highlighting the female drinking buddy, Lansky teases out this portrait’s long but, she suggests, often overlooked history. Yet the apparent freedom of Hemingway’s unnamed female character is undercut by the story’s atmosphere of stifling constriction. Lansky investigates this conflict around addiction, drinking, and gender in the context of the relationship between the reader and the author, offering a creative and moving account of addiction in the process. Her essay resonates with Cree’s reading of the addicted woman, Wilson’s shared use of autotheory in his study of male drinking culture, and Breen’s analysis of gender play in Psalmanazar. In each of these essays, gender emerges as a crucial concern in weighing up the different kinds of addictive cultures and their impacts on individual bodies.
Tony Cunningham offers a complementary account of the addict in fiction, also exploring how a singular figure, in this case Ishiguro’s famous butler in The Remains of the Day, might be caught in a historical moment. If earlier essays such as Cree’s illuminate “addiction” in relation to the “will” as a repeated form of choice, Cunningham teases out how this notion of choice might be historically compromised. Using a philosophical lens to ask what constitutes notions of the good life, Cunningham illuminates how addiction is a paradoxical challenge: devotional pursuits give life a sense of meaning, yet these pursuits may come to define us and limit our choices. The devotional form of addiction to one’s vocation, exercised by Ishiguro’s protagonist Mr. Stevens, toggles between admirable and necessary service, or misguided and enabling myopia. In all cases Stevens remains inhibited in his ability to act freely. In analyzing the structural constraints so deftly drawn in Ishiguro, Cunningham’s essay builds on the devotional addiction emphasized in this issue and addressed explicitly by Breen and Chattopadhyaya as well.
The issue ends as it began, with a definition of a key term. Sussman and Wright excavate the long history of the term addiction and expose the significant variety in understandings and expressions of this phenomenon. From the distinction between addictive substances and behaviors to the range of definitions offered in the DSM, the attempt to understand the phenomenon of addiction is, they reveal, ongoing and multilayered. This special issue represents a significant step forward in this process of understanding. Here, in English Language Notes, scholar-researchers enjoy the rare luxury of engaging in a truly cross-disciplinary conversation, meditating on a topic with contributors from a range of fields. Addiction, here, is a phenomenon that is communal, political, historical, and variable. By insisting on addiction’s multiple communities and perspectives, this issue seeks to participate in, and encourage, the humanist turn in addiction studies.
I owe a deep debt of gratitude to my research assistant and copyeditor for this issue, Reavant Singh. His research for this issue was painstaking; furthermore, he was an ideal and brilliant interlocutor through this process, and I will miss our conversations about the long history of scholarship on addiction. He will see my debt to his work throughout this issue. I am also grateful to Nan Goodman for her encouragement, as well as for her insights and feedback on this introduction, and to Kaela Walker for shepherding the issue through, from start to finish.
For studies on addiction and the brain, see National Institute of Drug Abuse, “Drugs, Brains, and Behavior”; Leshner, “Addiction Is a Brain Disease”; Satel and Lilienfeld, “Addiction and the Brain-Disease Fallacy”; Satel and Lilienfeld, “If Addiction Is Not Best Conceptualized a Brain Disease”; and Wiers and Verschure, “Curing the Broken Brain Model of Addiction.” For studies on history and habit, see Courtwright, Forces of Habit; and Goodman, Lovejoy, and Sherratt, Consuming Habits.
For studies of choice and will, see Radoilska, Addiction and Weakness of Will; Valverde, Diseases of the Will; Poland and Graham, “Introduction”; and Moore, “Addiction, Responsibility, and Neuroscience.”
The painting became the subject of a legal dispute when Andrew Lloyd Webber, who had bought it from Christie’s for $29.1 million in 1995, was informed by the heirs of the original owner that it had been sold under pressure by the Nazis. Webber settled with the heirs and so, four years after he had originally planned to sell the painting, offered it for auction through Christie’s. See Crow, “Christie’s Sells Picasso for $51.2 Million.”
Alexander, Globalisation of Addiction; Dumit, Drugs for Life; Happe, Johnson, and Levina, Biocitizenship; Macy, Dopesick; Van Zee, “Promotion and Marketing of OxyContin”; Ryan, Girion, and Glover, “‘You Want a Description of Hell?’”; Bogdanich and Forsythe, “McKinsey Proposed Paying Pharmacy Companies.”
Murch, Racist Logic; Netherland and Hansen, “White Opioids”; Mendoza, Hatcher, and Hansen, “Race, Stigma, and Addiction”; Herzberg, “Entitled to Addiction?”; Ruppert, Kattari, and Sussman, “Prevalence of Addictions”; Tuchman, “Women and Addiction.”
See Sussman and Wright in this issue. See also Flanagan, “Addiction Doesn’t Exist.”
Premodern categories of addiction include witchcraft, study, and religious devotion, overlooked as “addictions” by modern researchers. See Willis, “Doctor Faustus and the Early Modern Language of Addiction”; Cree, “Protestant Evangelicals”; Lemon, “Scholarly Addiction”; and Lemon, Addiction and Devotion. This section on “addiction’s history” is adapted from my introduction in that book.
Recent scholarship has challenged the notion of addiction as a modern discovery. See Lemon, Addiction and Devotion; Porter, “Drinking Man’s Disease,” 385; Warner, “‘Resolv’d to Drink No More’”; Warner, “‘Before There Was Alcoholism’”; Warner, Craze; White, “‘Slow but Sure Poyson,’” 37; and Herring et al., “Starting the Conversation,” 3–4.
On the definition of the term addict, see Lemon, Addiction and Devotion; Cree, “Protestant Evangelicals”; and Rosenthal and Faris, “Etymology and Early History of ‘Addiction.’”
“At the time he declared this new war, less than 2 percent of the American public viewed drugs as the most important issue facing the nation” (Alexander, New Jim Crow, 62).
“A 2012 study by a University of Pennsylvania researcher found that black patients were thirty-four per cent less likely than white patients to be prescribed opioids for such chronic conditions as back pain and migraines, and fourteen per cent less likely to receive such prescriptions after surgery or traumatic injury” (Talbot, “Addicts Next Door”).
On the challenge of admission to hospitals and to rehab programs for poorer addicts, see Talbot, “Addicts Next Door.”
Mishler summarizes the cycles in this way: “Racist depictions of Chinese opium use underscored the Chinese threat to US society and bolstered racist political campaigns for Chinese exclusion during the 1880s and 1890s. Meanwhile, black resistance to racial terror was interpreted through the lens of ‘Negro cocaine madness.’ By the 1930s, in response to Mexican immigration and Latinx urbanization, white observers worried about ‘reefer madness’” (Mishler, “Race and the First Opium Crisis,” 25).
Skelton, The Tunning of Elynour Rumming. See Herman, “Leaky Ladies and Droopy Dames.” On women and gendered drinking perceptions and practices, see Britland, “Circe’s Cup”; Bennett, Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in England; Capp, “Gender and the Culture of the English Alehouse”; and Martin, Alcohol, Sex, and Gender.
On nationalist drinking, see Lemon, “Compulsory Conviviality”; Ludington, Politics of Wine in Britain; Brown, “Sons of Beer and Sons of Ben”; and Wrightson, “Alehouses, Order, and Reformation in Rural England.”
See Warner, Craze; and White, “‘Slow but Sure Poyson.’”