Our project is concerned with the Psychiatric Bulletin, a collection of informational magazines that address various aspects of psychiatry, from jealousy in children to prejudice as a disease. In the bulletin, many of the articles address issues that we today would not consider diseases and outlines the cause, prevention, and treatment of the “disease”. Since the Psychiatric Bulletin covers such a wide range of topics, we decided to focus on one topic that appeared frequently throughout the nine volumes we had access to, the concept of drugs and drug abuse. We are going to analyze how drug use and abuse were portrayed in the 1960s, the purpose that drugs served in different fields of medicine, and the rationale that some psychiatrists had to explain drug addiction. The articles place an emphasis on the social and cultural aspects of drug addiction aside from the biological reasoning behind it, and our project will be examining these aspects as well.
We will be constructing an informational brochure accompanied with a short video illustrating how exactly the culture of drug abuse was like in the 1960s. We thought a brochure would be appropriate because it is similar to the form of the archive materials, and the video would enhance the teaching aspect of the project. Our project is meant to aid in professional research, and is targeted towards medical humanities researchers interested in how drug addiction was created and viewed in the past. Hopefully our project will provide them with new information about drug addiction in the past and a new perspective on modern forms of drug abuse treatment, to ultimately facilitate drug abuse treatment nowadays and to employ the use of drugs in an effective way when necessary for treatment of other diseases.
We are planning on also covering the differences between drug culture in the past and in the present day. To do this, we will need to conduct some outside research beyond the archive materials provided by the Woodson and search for articles similar to the format of the articles in the Psychiatric Bulletin, but that were published relatively recently. We are anticipating to find noteworthy differences between the treatment of drug abuse in the past and the present and are hoping to relay these differences in our project to provide new insight about this topic to medical humanities researchers and interested students. By understanding the treatment of drug addiction in the past, researchers and professionals in the healthcare industry will be able to further enhance treatment of drug addiction in the present day. The 1960s were a time of hard-scale drug usage, and substance abuse is still a very prevalent problem in today’s society, and hopefully we will be able to connect the two time periods to analyze the culture of drug abuse through history.