Politics and science in classifying the dangers of drugs Academic Article uri icon


  • There is a long history of psychoactive substances being regarded as dangerous and subsequently being banned or forbidden. Often the bans were introduced on substances new and unfamiliar to a society, which were viewed as more dangerous than substances which were well known and enculturated. With industrialisation and the globalisation brought by European empires, the growing availability of psychoactive substances was increasingly seen as a problem in the 1800s, setting off social and policy reactions--what we know as the temperance movement against alcohol, and initial UK legislation limiting the sale of 'poisons'.

publication date

  • October 28, 2010