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Monday, August 7, 2017

The Era Before American Drug Abuse Hit the Middle Class

In the late 1950's and early 1960s, drug use in the United States was thought to be largely confined to the urban poor, criminal elements, and such small nonconformist groups such as jazz musicians and "beatnik" artists and intellectuals. The National Survey on Drug Abuse for 1977 summarizes the retrospective data: "Prior to 1962 lifetime experience with any illicit drug was limited to 2 percent of less of the population in most areas of the country and among most large population subgroups. At that time, the prevalence of marijuana use was slightly above average (about 5 percent) among males and racial minorities and people living in the Western region of the country." Even as late as 1968, heroin use was confined to the major port cities of the Northeast corridor, as well as Miami, New Orleans, San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

David M. Musto, MD and Pamela Korsmeyer, The Quest for Drug Control, 2002  

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