The history of substance abuse is an interesting story involving religion, medicine, enjoyment, and pain. People have managed their use of substances throughout humanity’s history, but there have always been the few who fell victim to the addictive qualities of the substances. As this happened more and more throughout the ages, people began to recognize the issues and symptoms rising in men, women, and their children involving substance abuse.
History of Substance Abuse – Far Past
The history of substance abuse is a tale that begun long ago and is a long, long road. In early human civilizations people used substances as sacraments in religious ceremonies and for other spiritual purposes. They used these to produce visions and dull the pain of ritual mutilation. People have long grown, extracted, and created harmful and addictive substances for trade and profit. Recently as these substances have become more easily and readily available people have begun abusing substances to great detriment to themselves and others. This the history of substance abuse, the growing prevalence and eventual abuse in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was difficult for police forces to hold people accountable when they themselves did not automobile transportation.
With the advent of farming and the domestication of plants, people were growing these interesting substances that made them feel different and learned fermentation processes as well. These home remedies continued to spread before a medical community regulated the production and distribution of substances. The silk road trade route of East Asia made it easy for these substances to be passed from region to region.
Especially in America with the civil war and the alcohol prohibition and the current war on drugs, things have progressed in a manner that has turned the general public perception of substances in a negative direction. People tend to forget that it is not the substances, but the user that makes them what they are. Because we still use natural substances and their derivatives daily in medicine, mental health, pain management, and social reasons. The Controlled Substance Act of Congress in 1970 was the first deeply organized attempt to classify and control substances. Before that laws were being passed to enforce the correct labeling of substances and the possible risks to pregnant women and their children.
History of Substance Abuse – Recent Advances
Research on substance abuse and substances in modern times is a large leap in the history of substance abuse. It’s been a long-term investment by the public and scientific researchers in laboratories and psychologists in talking with and observing patients. Chemists, pharmacologists, neuroscientists, psycholgists, psychiatrists, geneticists, behavioral researchers and more have all contributed to the recent developments in the history of substance abuse. Previously it wasn’t considered abuse since there were reasons for using, and an acceptable time and place. This gave use a context that helped keep it acceptable without secrets. Of course there were those who took it too far, but it was very much less prevalent than it is now. The history of substance abuse is still being written now as we, each a substance abuse counselor, learn how to heal those who fall victim to substance abuse.