The Consumers Union Report on Licit and Illicit Drugs

by Edward M. Brecher and the Editors of Consumer Reports Magazine, 1972


Acknowledgments Introduction

Table of Contents

Part I - The Opiates: Heroin, Morphine, Opium, and Methadone

Chapter 1 - Nineteenth Century America - "a dope fiends paradise"

Chapter 2 - Opiates for pain relief, for tranquilization, and for pleasure

Chapter 3 - What kinds of people used opiates?

Chapter 4 - Effects of opium, morphine and heroin on addicts

Chapter 5 - Some eminent narcotics addicts

Chapter 6 - Opium smoking is outlawed

Chapter 7 - The Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906

Chapter 8 - The Harrison Narcotic Act (1914)

Chapter 9 - Tightening up the Harrison Act

Chapter 10 - Why our narcotics laws have failed: 1) Heroin is an addicting drug

Chapter 11 - Why our narcotics laws have failed: 2) The economics of the black market

Chapter 12 - The heroin "overdose" mystery and other occupational hazards of heroin addiction

Chapter 13 - Supplying heroin legally to addicts

Chapter 14 - Enter methadone maintenance

Chapter 15 - How well does methadone maintenance work?

Chapter 16 - Methadone side effects

Chapter 17 - Why methadone maintenance works

Chapter 18 - Methadone maintenance spreads

Chapter 19 - The future of methadone maintenance

Chapter 20 - Heroin on the youth drug scene - and in Vietnam


Part II - Caffeine

Chapter 21 - Early history

Chapter 22 - Recent findings


Part III - Nicotine

Chapter 23 - Tobacco

Chapter 24 - The Case of Dr. Sigmund Freud

Chapter 25 - Nicotine as an addicting drug

Chapter 26 - Cigarettes - and the 1964 report of the Surgeon General's Advisory Committee

Chapter 27 - A program for the future


Part IV - Alcohol, Barbiturates, Tranquilizers

Chapter 28 - The barbiturates for sleep and sedation

Chapter 29 - Alcohol and barbiturates: Two ways of getting drunk

Chapter 30 - Popularizing the barbiturates as "thrill pills"

Chapter 31 - The nonbarbiturate sedatives and the "minor" tranquilizers

Chapter 32 - Should alcohol be prohibited?

Chapter 33 - Why alcohol should not be prohibited


Part V - Coca, Cocaine, Amphetamines, "Speed"

Chapter 34 - Coca Leaves

Chapter 35 - Cocaine

Chapter 36 - The amphetamines

Chapter 37 - Enter the "speed freak"

Chapter 38 - How speed was popularized

Chapter 39 - The Swedish experience

Chapter 40 - Should the amphetamines be prohibited?

Chapter 41 - Back to cocaine again

Chapter 42 - A slightly hopeful postscript


Part VI - Inhalants, solvents and glue-sniffing

Chapter 43 - The historical antecedents of glue-sniffing

Chapter 44 - How to launch a nationwide drug menace


Part VII - LSD and LSD-like drugs

Chapter 45 - Early use of LSD-like drugs

Chapter 46 - LSD is discovered

Chapter 47 - LSD and psychotherapy

Chapter 48 - Hazards of LSD psychotherapy

Chapter 49 - Early nontherapeutic use of LSD

Chapter 50 - How LSD was popularized, 1962-1969

Chapter 51 - How the hazards of LSD were augmented, 1962-1969

Chapter 52 - LSD today: The search for a rational perspective


Part VIII - Marijuana and Hashish

Chapter 53 - Marijuana in the Old World

Chapter 54 - Marijuana in the New World

Chapter 55 - Marijuana and Alcohol Prohibition

Chapter 56 - Marijuana is outlawed

Chapter 57 - America discovers marijuana

Chapter 58 - Can marijuana replace alcohol?

Chapter 59 - The 1969 marijuana shortage and "Operation Intercept"

Chapter 60 - The Le Dain Commission Report - coming soon!


Part IX - The Drug Scene

Chapter 61 - Scope of Drug Use

Chapter 62 - Prescription, over-the-counter, and black-market drugs

Chapter 63 - The Haight-Ashbury, its predecessors and its satellites

Chapter 64 - Why a youth drug scene?

Chapter 65 - First steps toward a solution: innovative approaches by indigenous institutions

Chapter 66 - Alternatives to the drug experience

Chapter 67 - Emergence from the drug scene


Part X - Conclusions and Recommendations

Chapter 68 - Learning from past mistakes: six caveats

Chapter 69 - Policy Issues and Recommendations

Chapter 70 - A Last Word