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The Science and Politics of Opiate Research
Rating :
Author(s) :
Solomon Snyder
Pages :
Pub Date :
Edition(s) at Erowid :
1989(hb,1st ed,vg+/vg)
Publisher :
Harvard Univ. Press
On Jun 17, 2971...President Nixon appointed as his "czar" of drug-abuse prevention Dr. Jerome Jaffe, a well-known psychiatrist with abundant experience in the treatment of heroin addicts. In a widely publicized press conference, Nixon, with his arms around Jaffe, announced his new offensive against heroin...and exhorted Jaffe to "bang heads together" and do whatever else may be necessary to "win this war". Never in the history of the U.S. government had so much political power been accorded a physician...

Though I hardly knew heroin from horseradish, I did know Jerry Jaffe. He and I were part of a rather small group of psychiatrists with an interest in biological approaches to mental illness. In the 1960s, when both of us trained, psychiatry was still dominated by psychoanalysis. A psychiatric trainee who expressed a strong interest in basic biological research was regarded as somewhat peculiar, perhaps suffering from emotional conflicts that made him or her avoid confronting "real feelings". An interest in science was regarded almost as sick, some sort of strategem to avoid the psychoanalytic issue that mattered by fleeing to science. Jerry and I were both in this group of pariahs...When I saw Jerry on television and in the newspapers with President Nixon, I phoned to congratulate him and to offer whatever assistance I could provide.