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Virtually all known human groups have devised and regularly used techniques for altering consciousness, among which alcohol and drugs are prominent. James B. Bakalar and Lester Grinspoon offer a provocative analysis of the philosophical and historical foundations for efforts to control these techniques in modern industrial societies. What are the rights of individuals to diversity and enrich their experience? What, conversely, are the obligations of governments to protect their citizens? The authors first explore the relevance to drug control of traditional doctrines of political liberty. They discuss the ideas of addiction, dependence, and compulsive drug use, central in both medical and legal definitions of drug abuse. They consider the history and sociology of modern drug control, and go on to present a useful typology of the forms of drug control. After assessing the historical roots, theoretical bases, and comparative advantages and disadvantages of each of these forms, they examine alternative ways of looking at what is usually called the drug problem. The book will be of interest to all those concerned with drugs and social control, in a wide range of fields.