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SpringerBriefs in History of Chemistry

A Time-Release History of the Opioid Epidemic

Authors: Campbell, J.N., Rooney, Steven M.

  • Traces the history of opioids and their widespread occurrence
  • Explores the role of the chemistry laboratory in the production and consumption of opioids
  • Collates a historical and future perspective on the business of opioids
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eBook $54.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-91788-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $69.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-91787-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This Brief takes the reader on a chemical journey by following the history for over two centuries of how an opiate became an opioid, thus spawning an empire and a series of crises. These imperfect resemblances of alkaloids are both natural and synthetic substances that, particularly in America, are continually part of a growing concern about overuse. This seemed an inviting prospect for those in pain, but as the ubiquitous media coverage continues to lay bare, the levels of abuse point to the fact that perhaps an epidemic is upon us, if not a culture war. 

Seeking answers to how and why this addiction crisis transpired over two hundred years of long development, this Brief examines the role that the chemistry laboratory played in turning patients into consumers. By utilizing a host of diverse sources, this Brief seeks to trace the design and the production of opioids and their antecedents over the past two centuries. From the isolation and development of the first alkaloids with morphine that relieved pain within the home and on the battlefield, to the widespread use of nostrums and the addiction crisis that ensued, to the dissemination of drugs by what became known as Big Pharma after the World Wars; and finally, to competition from home-made pharmaceuticals, the progenitor was always, in some form, a type of chemistry lab. At times, the laboratory pressed science to think deeply about society's maladies, such as curing disease and alleviating pain, in order to look for new opportunities in the name of progress.  

Despite the best intentions opioids have created a paradox of pain as they were manipulated by creating relief with synthetic precision and influencing a dystopian vision. Thus, influence came in many forms, from governments, from the medical community, and from the entrepreneurial aspirations of the general populace. For better, but mostly for worse, all played a role in changing forever the trajectory of what started with the isolation of a compound in Germany. Combining chemistry and history in a rousing new long-form narrative that even broadens the definition of a laboratory, the origins and future of this complicated topic are carefully examined.

About the authors

J.N. Campbell is an independent scholar and is the co-author with Steven M. Rooney of the brief, How Aspirin Entered Our Medicine Cabinet (2017), also published by Springer. He has also written for the International Journal of the History of Sport and Reviews in History, and serves as a freelance writer for Good Grit Magazine. Campbell received two M.A. degrees from the University of Kentucky and the Parson School of Design in New York City. He lives in Houston, Texas.

Steven M. Rooney is an Instructor of Chemistry in the Department of Science at Tarrant County Community College in Fort Worth, Texas, and also teaches courses at the Dallas County Community College North Lake Main Campus in Irving, Texas. After starting his career in research, he fervently believes in getting students interested in science by creating a daily classroom forum that fosters individual development. Rooney received an M.S. in Chemistry from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He is the co-author with J.N. Campbell of the brief, How Aspirin Entered Our Medicine Cabinet (2017), also published by Springer. He lives in Dallas with his wife Teri.



Reviews

“The book aims to reconstruct the whole history of opioids isolated in the early 19th century on the basis of the traditional uses of poppy for pain relief. … This book should be in all libraries, medical, public, or other, so it can be read by as wide an audience as possible. … . a simple, clear, fluid style that results in a pleasant read. It is informative and debunks the myth about opioids and their simple rejection … .” (Alain Touwaide, Doody's Book Reviews, September, 2018)

Table of contents (4 chapters)

  • Introduction: Chemical Heterotopias

    Campbell, J. N. (et al.)

    Pages 1-8

  • Part One: Alkaloid Heterotopias

    Campbell, J. N. (et al.)

    Pages 9-58

  • Part Two: Synthetic Opiate Heterotopias

    Campbell, J. N. (et al.)

    Pages 59-120

  • Epilogue: Opioid Heterotopias

    Campbell, J. N. (et al.)

    Pages 121-130

Buy this book

eBook $54.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-91788-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $69.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-91787-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
A Time-Release History of the Opioid Epidemic
Authors
Series Title
SpringerBriefs in History of Chemistry
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-91788-7
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-91788-7
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-91787-0
Series ISSN
2212-991X
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVIII, 134
Number of Illustrations
23 b/w illustrations, 17 illustrations in colour
Topics