Drug Use for Grown-Ups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear (Paperback)

Drug Use for Grown-Ups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear By Dr. Carl L. Hart Cover Image
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Description


“Hart’s argument that we need to drastically revise our current view of illegal drugs is both powerful and timely . . . when it comes to the legacy of this country’s war on drugs, we should all share his outrage.” —The New York Times Book Review

From one of the world's foremost experts on the subject, a powerful argument that the greatest damage from drugs flows from their being illegal, and a hopeful reckoning with the possibility of their use as part of a responsible and happy life


Dr. Carl L. Hart, Ziff Professor at Columbia University and former chair of the Department of Psychology, is one of the world's preeminent experts on the effects of so-called recreational drugs on the human mind and body. Dr. Hart is open about the fact that he uses drugs himself, in a happy balance with the rest of his full and productive life as a researcher and professor, husband, father, and friend. In Drug Use for Grown-Ups, he draws on decades of research and his own personal experience to argue definitively that the criminalization and demonization of drug use--not drugs themselves--have been a tremendous scourge on America, not least in reinforcing this country's enduring structural racism.

Dr. Hart did not always have this view. He came of age in one of Miami's most troubled neighborhoods at a time when many ills were being laid at the door of crack cocaine. His initial work as a researcher was aimed at proving that drug use caused bad outcomes. But one problem kept cropping up: the evidence from his research did not support his hypothesis. From inside the massively well-funded research arm of the American war on drugs, he saw how the facts did not support the ideology. The truth was dismissed and distorted in order to keep fear and outrage stoked, the funds rolling in, and Black and brown bodies behind bars.

Drug Use for Grown-Ups will be controversial, to be sure: the propaganda war, Dr. Hart argues, has been tremendously effective. Imagine if the only subject of any discussion about driving automobiles was fatal car crashes. Drug Use for Grown-Ups offers a radically different vision: when used responsibly, drugs can enrich and enhance our lives. We have a long way to go, but the vital conversation this book will generate is an extraordinarily important step.

About the Author


Carl Hart is the Ziff Professor of Psychology in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at Columbia University. He is also a Research Scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Professor Hart has published numerous scientific and popular articles in the area of neuropsychopharmacology and is co-author of the textbook Drugs, Society and Human Behavior (with Charles Ksir). His book High Price was the 2014 winner of the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.

Praise For…


One of Behavioral Scientist's Best Books of the Year

“[Hart's] positions may seem quite extreme to some but they also, by and large, make a lot of sense—and are backed up by ample research . . . A major reason drugs have such a negative public image, Hart asserts, is racism . . . eye-opening.” —NPR.org
 
“Hart’s argument that we need to drastically revise our current view of illegal drugs is both powerful and timely . . . when it comes to the legacy of this country’s war on drugs, we should all share his outrage.” The New York Times Book Review

“One of the most thought-provoking reads I’ve had the pleasure of exploring in a long time . . .” —Trevor Noah, The Daily Show

“Hart’s book is compelling and well-argued. It’s one of those zeitgeisty books that manages to perform iconoclasm while outlining the unspoken obvious, detailing a lifestyle that many hold but few admit to publicly . . . Provocative and necessary.” Jezebel

“Provocative and enlightening . . . Drug Use for Grown-Ups has the soul of a manifesto.” Wall Street Journal
 
“As more and more states across the country legalize marijuana, and as popular opinion toward the war on drugs sours, Dr. Carl L. Hart’s new book arrives at the perfect time. . . . thoughtful and persuasive . . . He argues that if we truly believe in liberty as established in the Declaration of Independence, then the pursuit of this particular happiness should also be part of our protected civil liberties.” BookPage (starred review)

“I approached this book with knee-jerk skepticism . . . But Hart, a neuroscientist who specializes in drugs and addiction, met my ignorance with a series of thought-provoking arguments . . . Through his own experiences and research, he makes a compelling case for revising our mindsets about taboo substances, and the people who use them.” Discover Magazine

“A full-throated defense of self-aware, voluntary drug use . . . a valuable tool for mounting arguments in defense of free choice.” Kirkus

“A timely, fact-based, coherent, humane counterargument to America’s spectacularly failed War on Drugs.” —Booklist (starred review)

“Comprehensive and illuminating . . . Columbia University psychology professor Hart combines his scientific research on how recreational drugs impact brain functioning with reflections on his own use of heroin and other drugs. . . . Careful reasoning and detailed evidence buttress the book’s most surprising claims . . . This bracingly contrarian take provides much food for thought.” Publisher’s Weekly

“You must read this book. It's an eye-opening, mind-expanding masterpiece from one of the most important scientists in the world. You won't be the same after.” —Johann Hari, author of Chasing the Scream

“Why won’t this nation admit that criminalizing drugs has been far more deadly than the drugs themselves? This deeply personal, honest, and courageous book shines a crucial light on a topic cloaked in racism, repression, and myth.” —Dorothy Roberts, author of Killing the Black Body, Shattered Bonds, and Fatal Invention

“You may not agree with the author's personal enthusiasm for recreational drug use (and I happen not to). Nonetheless, Drug Use For Grown-Ups is a powerful, convincing tour of the hypocrisy that underlies so many of our drug laws, and the brutally unequal ways in which the laws are enforced. One shares Hart's fury at how, as per usual, it is the weak and marginalized members of society who are most targeted.” —Robert Sapolsky, author of Behave

“Dr. Carl Hart challenges our popular assumptions about drug addiction both through science and through a forthright account of hiw own heroin use. Drug Use For Grown-Ups makes a powerful case against stigmatizing—and criminalizing—adults who get high.” —Shane Bauer, author of American Prison

“Carl Hart provides a viscerally personal and candid book that debunks common myths that demonize recreational drug use. Hart—a neuroscientist and expert on substance abuse—brings us inside his own experiences with enlightened drug use and his frustration with the ineffectiveness and harm of the war on drugs. His book is timely with the dramatic rise in overdoses in the US compared to societies that have decriminalized drugs and seen a reduction in usage, overdoses and arrests.” —BJ Casey, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Yale University

“Dr. Carl Hart is that rara avis: A stellar neuroscientist—in fact, the preeminent expert on ‘recreational’ drugs—who is honest and enthusiastic about drug use. In Drug Use For Grown-Ups he dissects unalloyed data to dismiss our pernicious mythologies so that we can better understand the truly liberating nature and the real, not the imaginary, risks of these oft-maligned experiences. But Hart is also a captivating storyteller, and that’s what makes this book . . . well, addictive as he follows the data, wisdom and love from Switzerland to Portugal to New York City,  taking you along for the ride. As he bravely and humanely traces the science supporting treatment, regulation and decriminalization instead of succumbing to stigma or pandering to respectability politics, he displays a devotion to scientific truth in the service of better human health and relationships. By the time you reluctantly approach this book’s end, you will have acquired an education in what drugs offer us, their potential price, and healthy policies. Armed with this new clarity, it doesn’t matter whether you choose to shun drug use or to embrace its potential as a wondrous human experience: Thanks to Hart’s clarity and courage, your eyes will be opened and for the first time, your choice will be informed.” —Harriet A. Washington, author of Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present

“This book is written by a leading drug researcher and neuroscientist who has himself grown up through, and been significantly affected by, the era of the ‘war on drugs.’ His personal story from acceptance of the status quo to understanding its fundamental flaws permeates both the science and the wisdom that this book projects. One hopes that the political and scientific establishment reads it and reflects on the urgent need for new evidence-based drugs policies.” David Nutt, author of Drink? The New Science of Alcohol and Your Health

“Like he did in my Netflix cannabis doc, Grass Is Greener, DR. Carl Hart gives you the real-to-real regarding drug use and dismantles all the lies and misinformation we’ve been assaulted with for decades. Drug Use for Grown-Ups is a hip, street smart, scholarly yet easy-to-read deep dive into the how and why of illegal drugs that should be required reading from millennials to seniors.” —Fab 5 Freddy
Product Details
ISBN: 9781101981665
ISBN-10: 1101981660
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: January 11th, 2022
Pages: 304
Language: English

How to read more

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How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.

 

And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.

 

15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.

 

50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.

 

Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.

 

Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.

 

Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.

 

Outcome

Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.

 
 
 

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