Blowing Smoke

Blowing Smoke

Rethinking the War on Drugs Without Prohibition and Rehab

Book - 2012
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Baker & Taylor
Argues against the current approach to drug addiction and presents the habit model which views drug use as something adults have the right to do unless it affects the safety of others.

Rowman and Littllefield
Alcohol, opiates, cocaine and marijuana, among other drugs, have been used and abused for millennia. Prior to the disease model approach to drug addiction, which posits that addiction is a psychological and biological problem and that sufferers are victims, societies had a workable solution: let people consume what they want, and let informal cultural controls reinforce responsible behavior. Legal sanctions were reserved for any use that affected the safety of others.Blowing Smoke proposes an approach to the war on drugs that returns us to the pre-disease-model era. Dr. Reznicek asserts that addiction is not a medical problem to be treated in rehab or by prohibiting substance use. Rather, he debunks the disease model, arguing that it has exacerbated the problem by telling drug abusers that they are not responsible for their behavior, that they are sick, that they are not to blame. He skillfully argues for a new approach to drug use and abuse that requires a shift in the way we fight the war on drugs.

Dr. Reznicek provides a new framework for understanding drug abuse: the habit model. Habits are practiced as long as they provide comfort, and are abandoned when they cause pain. The habit model is more consistent with current neuroscientific knowledge and it accounts for the widely observed phenomenon that most substance abusers don’t change until they “hit bottom,” the point where the consequences of drug use finally outweigh its benefits.

Using the habit model, Dr. Reznicek suggests the solution to the drug problem is to turn back the clock, and to take lessons from societies that use social controls and consequences to deal with addiction and drug abuse. He recommends the legalization of drugs for adults, the implementation of social practices to dissuade abusers, and the end to the use of rehab as a way of handling addiction.
Blowing Smoke shows how such an iconoclastic approach can work for us today.

Blowing Smoke argues that we are losing the drug war because of our devotion to the disease model of substance abuse. That model has become the driving force for our two main strategies in the war: prohibition laws and drug rehab. The book traces the history and science behind each to show how they paradoxically enable drug use.

Publisher: Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, [2012]
Copyright Date: ©2012
ISBN: 9781442215146
Branch Call Number: 362.29 Reznicek 2012
Characteristics: ix, 221 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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jwarmbol Jun 19, 2014

As clarified by Dr. Reznicek, the disease model for substance abuse has absolutely no basis in science. The habitual use of any drug is exactly what it sounds like--an ingrained habit that resolves one's psychological or situational challenges--but only for the short-term. As we all know, drug addiction tends to run in families but that is not because there is a gene for drug abuse that is passed from generation to generation. Instead. what does 'run in families' is that of being a risk-taker. Cautious individuals are extremely unlikely to fall victim to any type of addictive behavior pattern. Children and teens who feel depressed and/or stressed are also more vulnerable to drugs as they their problems disappear but again, only for the short-term. If they feel valued and loved as well as living in a neighborhood that offers challenging and fun activities, drugs will not be of particular interest, except for occasional experimentation.

Sep 21, 2012

Except that too many people and governments make too many billions, yes billions, a day worldwide, to want a change in the laws.


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