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“World War-D” Table of Contents

Section 1: A contrasted history of the war on drugs

Foreword to Section 1

Chapter 1: The political, ideological and historical background of prohibition

Prohibitionism, a 19th century totalitarian ideology

Settlement patterns and prohibitionism

The temperance movement

The psychoactive landscape at the dawn of prohibition

Chapter 2: The build up to the war on drugs

Moral panics and the build-up to the Harrison Tax Act of 1914

Alcohol prohibition in the US: The noble experiment

Moral panic revisited: Harry Anslinger and the 1937 Marihuana Tax Bill

Narcotics and the mob

Early dissenters

Chapter 3: Anslinger’s legacy from Nixon to Clinton: Drug panics forever

Nixon era

Build-up to the 1980s cocaine craze

Klaus Barbie and the Bolivian cocaine coup

Reagan era

The age of stupid

The Iran-Contras crack cocaine connection

The rise and fall of the Medellín cartel

The aftermath: more of the same

The never-ending saga

The Mexican decades

Chapter 4: the illegal psychoactive marketplace in the 21st century

Prohibition in a market economy

Modus operandi of the illegal drug trade

Current trends in the illegal psychoactive marketplace

Street and prison gangs expansion – alliance with Mexican drug cartels

Narco-trafficking in the age of globalization:

Diversification and expansion of transit routes – path of least resistance

Diversification and sophistication of transit modalities

Technological innovations and the next wave of diseases of excess

Chapter 5: The war on drugs in numbers – The cost of the war on drugs

To put things into perspective: legal and illegal drug-related casualties in the US, EU and throughout the world

The societal cost of drug use

The cost to taxpayers of the war on drugs in the US

Health cost of the WOD

Human cost of the war on drugs in the US

The human and geopolitical cost of the war on drugs



Central America, Caribbean, West & East Africa, Afghanistan

Environmental cost of the war on drugs

Unintended consequences: The perverse effects of the criminalization of drugs

Socialization and amplification of costs – Privatization of profits to criminal enterprises

Corruption, the universal lubricant

The spread of violence

Empowering of narco-traffickers and narco-terrorists

Erosion of civil liberties

Prisons as institutions of higher criminal learning

The rise of the prison-industrial complex in the US

Is it working

Conclusion to section 1


Section 2: Major legal and illegal psychoactive substances, their action and benefits and their harm-causing potential

Foreword to section 2

Chapter 6: Psychoactive substances and the brain

Homeostasis, a key adaptive process

Cells for starters

Brain 1.01



Neurotransmission and psychoactive substances

Major neurotransmitters


GABA (?-aminobutyric acid)



Norepinephrine (noradrenalin)



The endocannabinoid system

The pleasure/reward pathway in the brain

The brain reward pathway and the pursuit of happiness

The addiction puzzle

Genetic and epigenetic factors of addiction

Neural mechanism of addiction

Vulnerability and resistance to abuse and addiction

Hallucinogens and other types of mind-alteration

The mind alteration drive

Chapter 7: From initiation to addiction, drug careers and drug cultures

Modes of administration – evolutionary-adaptive gaps

Psychoactive substances and the growing brain

Patterns of use – Drug careers – Use, abuse and addiction

The issue of initiation

Subcultures appropriation of Psychoactives – Global youth culture

Chapter 8: Alcohol

Moonshining from outer space to the “Wine Pool and Meat Forest”: A brief history of booze.

Alcohol in Indo-European cultures and Western civilization

Pharmacokinetics of alcohol

Effects of alcohol on the body

Alcohol and the brain

Stages of alcohol intoxication

Alcohol use patterns

Health and other benefits of moderate use

Heavy episodic drinking/binge drinking

Alcoholism (alcohol addiction)

Youth drinking

Co-morbidity of alcohol abuse and mental disorders

The socio-economic cost of alcohol

Chapter 9: The case of tobacco

The addictive power of Tobacco

Medical uses and health benefits of tobacco

Chapter 10: Prescription psychoactive drugs

Main classes of prescription psychoactive drugs

The patent engine

Cosmetic psychopharmacology – the “worried well” and the medicalization of normalcy

Prescription psychoactive drug abuse, a twenty-first century epidemic

Addiction by prescription – big pharma and greed addiction


Chapter 11: Illegal drugs

Cannabis and Cannabinoids

Medical applications of cannabinoids

Route of administration

Toxicity, tolerance, addictivity



Amphetamines and ATS stimulants

Ecstasy – Designers drugs/party drugs



The truly hallucinating history of LSD

Pharmacology of LSD

Other hallucinogens – psilocybin/magic mushroom, mescaline/peyote

Multi-substance use

Conclusion to section 2


Section 3: Beyond the war on drug

Chapter 12: Changing attitudes

Indulgence and hypocrisy at the top


Latin America



The International Community: UN, WHO, UNESCO, etc.

Chapter 13: Critical analysis of prohibitionism and its premises

The flawed prohibitionist model

Prohibitionism and moral relativism: Faulty premises and false assumptions of prohibitionism

Prohibition is not practically and efficiently enforceable

The resilience of the prohibitionist model

Prohibitionism and ulterior motives

Critical analysis of UNODOC positions as laid by its Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa

Chapter 14: The debate over harm reduction

What is harm reduction?

The cost issue

Excise tax

Lessons learned from other harms

Harms related to illegal drug use

Harms related to the use of psychoactive substances

Primary harms to the user

Secondary or societal harms to third parties

Harms caused by drug prohibition

The cost of madness

Chapter 15: the debate over legalization

The limits of decriminalization

Selective legalization

The case for legalization

Limits of the pure free market approach

Global legalization of production, consumption and trade

Controlled re-legalization is the only realistic option for emerging countries

Expected US opposition to controlled re-legalization and why it may not matter

Winners and losers of re-legalization

Legalization and the UN

The danger of a free-for-all approach and the urgency of coordination

Chapter 16: How to end the war on drugs – a pragmatic roadmap to controlled re-legalization




Regulatory options

Regulatory issues

Regulating production and wholesale trade

Educate and prevent


The issue of under-age substance use and abuse

Harm reduction to be expected from controlled re-legalization

Harm augmentation that can be expected from re-legalization

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