Every once in a while I read a book so extraordinary I want to share it with everyone I know. Thus, this book review blog was born…
Today’s review is on ‘Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs‘ by Johann Hari.
Prior to purchasing it, I had read two excerpts published as online articles, so I already had a feel for the author’s writing style, and knew a bit about the substance of the book. I gathered it was going to be a call for the end of prohibition and a re-examination of our concepts of addiction. I was comfortable and well-versed with both these thoughts.
Even though I rarely use alcohol or any other “drug”, (aside from nicotine, sugar, and water*) I have long held the libertarian viewpoint that government should not be “nannying” us, that we as citizens should be free to use our bodies in any way we choose, and that drug use is part of one of the inalienable rights; the pursuit of happiness.
I was also aware and agreed with the idea that prohibition simply creates more crime, so rather than just punishing users and addicts, it’s actually creating a much more chaotic criminal environment for everyone, by creating the need for a black market. Then there are the factors of the costs of the drug wars and imprisonment, vs. the cost of rehabilitation and education. And finally, what addiction actually is, rather than what we have been taught it is.
Even though I knew much of the bare philosophies above, as I began reading I couldn’t put the book down! Told through the narration of many players on every conceivable side in these debates, along with new research into addiction, and interviews with leaders of countries and states which have, in different ways, repealed some of the drug war, it was an amazing read! I am very impressed at the amount and detail of research that went into this work!
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is an addict, has been an addict, has friends who are addicted (to anything) or who wants to understand how addiction works and what it actually is, as well as proponents of both legalization and prohibition. The book is very well-written, engaging, and thoroughly researched! A look at the facts of drug use and the drug wars, rather than the fears we’ve been brought to believe in the past 100 years.
I don’t want to give any spoilers. Just know that no matter what you think you already know about drugs, prohibition, legalization or addiction, your views will be spoken, challenged, examined, and you will walk away with a much deeper understanding of ALL facets of the issues, just as I did.
If you only read 1 book this year… well read MY book Secret Weapons of Mass Orgasm 😉 haha, but if you’re going to read more, definitely make this one of them, soon!
Happy reading! 😘
PS: Get my new best-selling book, Secret Weapons of Mass Orgasm: The Science of Sex & The Artistry of Love, available now at select retailers
*I joke about water being my major addiction. “You know, I’ve thought about quitting, but I heard the withdrawals can be really harsh. Like, people have actually died, and shit!” However, sadly, this is a true fact. People really have died from quitting water.