It is now 100 years since drugs were first banned in the United States. On the eve of this centenary, journalist Johann Hari set off on an epic three-year, 30,000-mile journey into the war on drugs. What he found is that more and more people all over the world have begun to recognize three startling truths: Drugs are not what we think they are. Addiction is not what we think it is. And the drug war has very different motives to the ones we have seen on our TV screens for so long.
In Chasing the Scream, Hari reveals his discoveries entirely through the stories of people across the world whose lives have been transformed by this war. They range from a transsexual crack dealer in Brooklyn searching for her mother, to a teenage hit-man in Mexico searching for a way out. It begins with Hari's discovery that at the birth of the drug war, Billie Holiday was stalked and killed by the man who launched this crusade - and it ends with the story of a brave doctor who has led his country to decriminalize every drug, from cannabis to crack, with remarkable results.
Chasing the Scream lays bare what we really have been chasing in our century of drug war - in our hunger for drugs, and in our attempt to destroy them. This audiobook will challenge and change how you think about one of the most controversial - and consequential - questions of our time.
©2015 Johann Hari (P)2014 Audible Inc.
A book about some uncomfortable realities we've still to face in society. A well researched and well documented history of what most consider just part of every day life.
If I could slap down a book in front of every person in power, as a final wish, and tell them to read (or listen) it from cover to cover it would be this one.
I've always been against prohibition ever since I'd come into contact with those affected by it, but only for a select few substances. I thought this book would be 14 hours of preaching to a choire, but even then I was still challenged by the stories and experiences presented in this book.
I managed to plow through this in only a few days or so. The narrative was compelling enough for me to have to try and force myself to find time away from it. An addiction one might say.
Every anti prohibitionist, no matter your tastes or distaste in narcotics, should give this one a shot and pass on it's message.
We've got a lot of growing to do as a society, and I firmly believe this book and all parties involved in the creation of this book are the way forward.
I'd even go so far as to buy a physical copy of this book and pass it on to my local representatives and see if their perspective on what has been commonly portrayed as a very binary discussion change as much as mine have. I hope others around the world might feel the same way after having experienced this book.
In-depth and up-to-date information and questions regarding many aspects of the current 'Drug War' crisis we face today. Exhaustive research including experiments and projects included, in detail, provide food for thought and were extremely interesting.This audio book gave me hope for positive change in upcoming years.
The story about the woman who lost her child to the 'Drug War' and the lengths she went to for justice, which was not done.
The narrator was easy to listen to and understand. The inflection in his voice enabled longer periods of time to listen without tuning out or daydreaming which can happen when listening to audio books occasionally.
I did listen to this book in a relatively short time span. I 'MADE' time to listen. I found myself discussing this book with my teenage sons and their friends when I wasn't listening.
Highly recommend this book if you have an interest in the ongoing 'Drug War' occurring in many countries, or if you or a loved one, friend or family member affected by drugs. Great listen!
A mind blowing story! Very convincing. I have to revise my own thoughts on the matter and bring it up with my close relatives affected by this war. The narrator did an impressive job.
Chasing the scream is very enlightening and explains how the way we have been fighting the drug war has only made things worse for the wider community as well as drug users. So many perspectives I'd never considered such as why drug addiction gets worse when it's outlawed, why addicts can't psychologically function without drugs, just to name a few.
Johann breaks the story up into three perspectives of the drug war that are revisited again and again. These perspectives are the users, the dealers and the legislators.
Arnold Rothstein, Harry Anslinger & Billy holiday.
Well it goes for 20 hours, so no
if you want a book to challenge and debunk popular views on drug culture and prohibition, this would be an excellent choice.
This book is an amazing insite into the drug war. very informative, very interesting, so much covered!! a truely great book I will be suggesting to many people
guess only downside is there is so much information it can be a tad hard to stay engaged but obviously due to the subject matter (there is no solution to that, there's just so many stories to be told). I found the beginning was abit hard to get in to (like many books or stories) but 100% worth pushing thru.
thank you very much for this book!!
I would and am recommending this book to everyone I talk to , it's the only way forward , it opened my eyes and changed my mindset on a lot of issues . Johann hari this book is a great service to society ! Well done and thank you
I can not fault this book. Well researched and told with true empathy and compassion. It's a fabulous insight into how we think about drugs and the quality of life we want for our loved ones and wider society. I have been recommending this book to everyone I know!
The real story. Joining all the dots over 100 years of prohibition. The war on drugs is and always was a complete failure, costing so many lives and so much money. The war is lost. This book gives solutions.
Addiction is simply a lack of connection to other people. 80% of drug users will not form an addiction. People with painful pasts are most susceptible to addiction.
Excellent stories. Easy read/listning.
To eliminate drug cartels, change drug laws.
"This is worth your time...."
I am a physician who has practiced a specialty of internal medicine for over 30 years.if you want advice: you should absolutely hear this book.The author makes a compelling case that most, if not all, drugs should be legalized and regulated.I believe that marijuana, opiates, cocaine and methamphetamine cause more harm than good when used recreationally.(Methamphetamine is especially harmful and is a common cause of heart failure and death in long-term users.)Nevertheless, the author has persuaded me that the harm caused by Prohibition and the War on Drugs is not worth the social benefit.Increasing numbers of young people are dying of narcotic overdoses. (Read the excellent Dreamland by Sam Quinones.) With enlightened policies that have worked for example in Switzerland – this can be stopped.Drug-related crime of all kinds – from the many thousands of horrific murders caused by the Cartels to petty theft to help support a habit – could be markedly reduced by legalization. The police could concentrate on criminals doing real social harm. The prisons would not be overflowing with those being brutalized for largely victimless crimes. The money spent arresting, prosecuting and imprisoning drug users could be spent with much greater social benefit. You will learn that many of our drug policies have been founded on ignorance and prosecuted with ulterior motives.There are aspects of this book that I disagree with. The author is not a physician and he has chosen his medical experts selectively. I believe he underestimates the power of "chemical hooks” to disrupt the human reward system and subvert the will.On the whole, he gives much credence to a lack of social connection and past psychotrama as the cause of drug abuse and addiction. I think he probably overemphasizes this influence. There are significant genetic factors that predispose to substance abuse and addiction – this is clearly true with alcohol for example. When susceptible humans meet easily available drugs there is likely to be trouble —and we must accept and be ready to cope with that fact. He freely admits that ending prohibition will probably increase the use of drugs of all sorts. But the drugs will probably be less potent and less dangerous. And the conditions of their use can be better regulated.Mental Health Services (which have not achieved the same scientific foundations or effectiveness as the rest of medicine) and other social services would be significantly challenged by legalization. They could at least be better funded and possibly evolve their effectiveness with the windfall of money not wasted on prohibition.All this said, he has convinced this skeptic that legalization and regulation is the better path. I suspect he will also convince you.
"A Must if the drug war has touched you at all"
This should be required reading for anyone directly involved in the drug war. It is told in an extremely compelling fashion, and in great detail. Despite this it never lags.
The history of how the US government destroyed medical treatment, for drug addicts WORLDWIDE.
Chino, the drug addict illegitimate child of an addict and her rapist father police officer.
Truth is the first casualty in all wars.
If enough people read this book, and act on it, we can bring the problem of addiction under control, and restore a more peaceful society.
A more inspiring and insightful book I cannot imagine. Brilliantly presented and truly earth shattering. I do so hope the influences of this well researched work reach far and touch the key people who are in positions to make changes in our society.
"The most important book I have read in a decade!"
MUST listen! MUST finish! Will challenge you and bring you to tears. If you are a thinking adult living on this planet this is required reading. Make up your own mind about it but please don't ignore it...
"Challenges many of my perceptions"
As a recovered alcoholic and a clinical addiction counselor I'm having to look again at my own recovery and at the way I counsel others seeking recovery.
The book is powerful. Extremely well researched. Changed everything I thought I knew about drugs and addicts. The author engages the reader from the first sentence to the last
"Great factual story"
I am very impressed with the authors research on this matter. It has opened my eyes and my heart to a new way of thinking about the so called "War on Drugs". Having grown up in the 60's,70's & the 80's I see how a different approach to this would have had much better results. I have lost friends to drugs and would love nothing more than to see it controlled in this manner. I suggest this read to anyone who has been or is effected by drugs for that matter anyone period!
"A Blueprint for POLICY CHANGE!!!"
IF only ALL our worthless politicians could be strapped down to a chair and FORCED to read this book!! Our society and country would be changed for the better within a few years, I'm certain.
I am absolutely blown away at how well-researched this was, and how unassailable Hari's assertions were. I, like him, was raised to believe that drugs are the devil and addicts were criminals that needed to be locked away for good.
I was so, so wrong.
Now my eyes are opened. Not only does Hari explain WHY drugs should be legalized, he actually lays out a plan of HOW to do it in a responsible manner, with the least possible negative impact on society. As with any monumental sea change, short term negative effects will be felt, however the long term peace and prosperity (AND LIVES SAVED!!) will be well worth it.
Thank you Johann Hari for this masterpiece!!
"Blew my mind"
after ensuring the bibliography wasn't filled with junk reports and checking facts with the drug guys and medical gals around campus for verification on dubious and surprising points, I can proudly proclaim that the big facts and figures are correct. I believe his worst infraction was screwing up someone's title or something insubstabtial like that.
So, I'm inspired and fired up. Can someone tell me where the revolution is scheduled to be and if they have coffee there? I'll carpool if needed.
"Definitive story of "The war on drugs""
Full of great historical and current stories of the creators and victims of our centuries old war on drugs. Astonishing to find that one man, Harry Anslinger, had so much to do with this disastrous global campaign.
"Captivating and thought provoking"
I am a fairly liberal person, not a drug user per-se but I have had my experiences and run-ins with drugs and the system in which they are demonised and scape-goated. This book forced me to review the way I viewed drugs, drug use and drug addicts and drove home some difficult to digest truths. Incredinly interesting, moving, disturbing, liberating, everyone should read this book no matter how they feel about drugs, and I think we as a society will get there in the end - to the place this book so convincingly argues us to go.
One of the most inspirational, unbelievable yet shockingly real books I have ever encountered. This book will shake you to the core and either reinforce your beliefs about drugs - or change them. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
Amazing!!!! You must download. If you feel anything about drugs this book will blow your mind.
"Everyone should read or listen to this book."
Chasing the Scream breaks down our societal assumptions about the dangers of drugs with a fascinating investigation which spans history, the animal kingdom, criminality, and individual stories of those worse affected by the war on drugs. I cannot recommend this highly enough.
"Sense and sensibility."
A shining light of hope for much and many. Researched and written superbly. The performance of the narrator is brilliant, names are made characters and characters protagonists and heroes, villains and normal people - all are written, represented and respected.
"The story you were never told"
This is an in-depth and highly thought-provoking examination of the so-called 'war on drugs' of the past century. You will not think about drugs in the same way after this.
"Important, essential, informative."
Important, essential, informative.
Johann Hari gives us an in depth look at how badly we have handled the situation with illegal drugs and the damage it has done to too many people. This book isn't about encouraging recreational or across the counter drug taking - He doesn't advocate drug taking at all but tries to give us a balanced look at what the War on Drugs really is and where it went wrong right from the outset.
The reading was well balanced and I thought I was listening to the author most of the time which I deduced as a good thing?
I tried to remain unemotional about this subject but did find some of the stories sent me into a frustrated tizzy of hair-pulling for all sorts of reasons too long to detail as the stories were many.
Whether you adamantly believe in the War on Drugs or believe in legalisation this book really will help you make an informed opinion on the subject. It is a very rational debate on the subject and the book should be an essential read for all those of reading and drug-taking age.
"The things I never knew!!!"
Honestly, I thought I knew quite a lot about drugs on account of having experimented with a few; I also thought I knew about addiction through personal experience (with tobacco and also cannabis) and through the cases of two friends addicted to heroin. Yeah, right! There is so much more to it all. From the crazy determination of one man to rid the world of something he thought evil, to the fallacies about addiction, to the lies about what would happen to society if we went back to the time when drugs weren't illegal, to the human cost of a war that will never be won. Please read this book and recommend it to your friends.
"One of the most important books of our times, about our times!"
This is a wonderfully researched, written and presented exploration and expose of the beginning, middle and (hopefully) end of the war on drugs; it's misguided seed, destructive fruits and maybe a solution to all of the suffering it has caused...
"This book changed the way I think of drugs"
Yes, Tim Reynolds really makes Hari's story come alive.
There were many! I wouldn't want to spoil the book either, as I found that finding out facts along with following Hari's journey added to the enjoyment of listening to it. When Hari visits Switzerland, and Portugal, the difference that their drug policy has made not only to individuals but to the nation as a whole was very striking. Also, finding myself thinking differently about a subject I thought I knew so much about was so mind opening. This book literally changed the way I think of drugs and drug policy, which I think in itself has to be a very memorable moment!
Hari encounters many different characters on his journey, and each one is very striking in their own way. Hari does an excellent job of exploring the human side of this war on drugs. He doesn't concentrate too heavily on facts and figures, it is the people affected who are his main focus. I think Billie Holiday really stood out to me, but it would be unfair to pick just one, as each person's story is recounted so brilliantly, and each one thought provoking in their own way.
I really recommend this book. It has changed the way I think about drugs and drug policy in ways I never thought were possible. This is an excellent book, and I also hope that governments pay attention to it.
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