Addict In The Family

by Dr. Andrew Byrne
1821 Publication of De Quincey's book, Confessions of an English Opium Eater, the first personal addiction story.
1898 Heroin first marketed by Bayer Company as a 'non-addictive drug' and a 'cure for morphinism'.
1924 April 3, a group of American congressmen held an official hearing to consider the future of heroin. "Virtually every "fact" testified to under oath by the medical and criminological experts in 1924 ... was unsupported by any sound evidence." Nick Davies, The Gardian June 14 2001. The war against drugs was born. 1918 to 1933 Eighteenth Amendment. US 'prohibition' period.
1935 Founding of A.A. in Ohio, USA, by Bill W and Dr Bob.
1953 Publication of Junkie by William S. Burroughs.
1953 Banning of heroin in Australia (against medical advice).
1961 The Single Convention of UN consolidated bans on non-medical use of heroin and opium in signatory countries.
1964 Royal College of Physicians report blames tobacco for lung cancer.
1965 First R&R personnel come to Sydney from Vietnam.
1965 Dole's report on success of methadone treatment.
1969 First Australian patients treated with methadone.
1980 First cases of HIV/AIDS recognised.
1985 Harm minimization and methadone adopted by Australian Special Premiers Conference in strategy against HIV.
1990 Hepatitis C becomes major concern amongst drug users.
1993 Study of 150 NSW heroin related deaths shows that only 2% were currently enrolled in methadone treatment.
1995 Northern Territory becomes third jurisdiction (after ACT and SA) to decriminalise personal use of cannabis.
1996 Tobacco accepted as addictive by US President Clinton.
1996 Over 17,000 Australians on methadone treatment in all jurisdictions except Northern Territory.
1996 Over 18,000 Australians die from tobacco related illnesses.