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War and drugs: The Role of Military Conflict in the Development of Substance Abuse
  • Dessa K. Bergen-Cico, Syracuse University

War and Drugs explores the relationship between military incursions and substance use and abuse throughout history. For centuries, drugs have been used to weaken enemies, stimulate troops to fight, and quell post-war trauma. They have also served as a source of funding for clandestine military and paramilitary activity. From the Opium Wars through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, themes of colonialism, capitalism, and anticommunism have constructed the foundation for the current crisis of international drug trafficking and addiction. In addition to offering detailed geopolitical perspectives, this book explores the intergenerational trauma that follows military conflict and the rising tide of substance abuse among veterans, especially from the Vietnam and Iraq-Afghan eras. Addiction specialist Bergen-Cico raises important questions about the past and challenges us to consider new approaches in the future—especially to that longest of U.S. wars: the erstwhile “War on Drugs.”

  • PTSD,
  • drug policy,
  • history of drugs,
  • CIA,
  • Cold War,
  • Opium Wars,
  • Vietnam,
  • Afghanistan,
  • Iraq War
Publication Date
Paradigm Publishers
Publisher Statement
Copyright 2012 Paradigm Publishers. This book may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and Paradigm Publishers. The book may be found at
Citation Information
Dessa K. Bergen-Cico. War and drugs: The Role of Military Conflict in the Development of Substance Abuse. Boulder, CO(2012)
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