Writing on Drugs

Sadie Plant

Writing on Drugs by Sadie Plant is fascinating look at an ignored aspect of our history and culture, a ‘comprehensive account of how drugs have come to shape the modern world.’ (The Face)

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Narcotics, stimulants and hallucinogens . . . these drugs have always affected far more than the perceptions, minds and moods of their users. Writing on Drugs explores the profound and pervasive nature of their influence on contemporary culture. It reads Coleridge on opium, Freud on cocaine, Michaux on mescaline and Burroughs on them all, and with such writers it begins to understand the many ways in which the modern world has found itself on drugs. Psychoactive substances have been integral to its economic history, its politics, media and technologies. They have influenced its poetry and stories, and shaped some of its most fundamental philosophies. They have even exposed the neurochemistry of a human brain which, like its cultures, has never been drug-free.


Sadie Plant was born in Birmingham and studied at the University of Manchester, where she gained her PhD in Philosophy in 1989. She has been a Lecturer in Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham and a Research Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Warwick before leaving the academic world to work independently and write full-time.…

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