Reviews Book

Heroin Century; Heroin Addiction Care and Control: The British System 1916-1984

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 15 February 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:400
  1. Wayne Hall (, professorial fellow and director
  1. Office of Public Policy and Ethics, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland, Australia

    Heroin Century

    Tom Carnwath, Ian Smith

    Routledge, £14.99, pp 224

    ISBN 0 415 27899 6

    Heroin Addiction Care and Control: The British System 1916-1984

    H B Spear, ed Joy Mott

    DrugScope, £35, pp 362

    ISBN 1 904319 04 1

    Rating: Embedded Image; Embedded ImageEmbedded ImageEmbedded Image

    These two books on heroin policy address two different audiences: the general public and drug policy buffs.

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    Destroying confiscated heroin in the 1950s


    Carnwarth and Smith have aimed to write a “factual and easy to read” book that will improve public debate by reducing the exaggerated anxieties about heroin that have been created by the tabloid media. The book is certainly easier to read than many scholarly books on heroin but the authors make some dubious claims. They predict that rising heroin use will change attitudes, making it “quite likely” that heroin will be “decriminalised or legalised in the …

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