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Points: H1 2022 in Review

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

I write this as the UK is experiencing extreme heat and record temperatures of 41 Celsius. Summer has arrived and for some this means a break – for others it’s about playing ‘catch up’; for the UK it means moaning about the weather and lamenting our lack of air conditioning.


It’s been six months since I took the reins from Greg Bond and started editing Points, and thus far I hope I’ve continued its legacy to deliver thought-provoking content. I wanted to take the opportunity to provide some quick reflections on must-reads from the past six months, in-case you’re playing catch-up on Points articles:


Points launched the Methadone Marathon series in February 2021, orchestrated by Points co-founder, Trysh Travis. This series reflected on the 50 year anniversary of the passage of the The Drug Abuse Office and Treatment Act of 1972 (Public Law 92-255) and celebrated 10 years of Points. Kicking off with an exclusive viewing of James Klein’s 1974 film Methadone: An American Way of Dealing, the series subsequently offers a number of commentaries by academics which reflect on different themes within the film. You can catch up on them all here.


In May we launched the Pharmaceutical Inequalities series, graciously funded by the Holtz Center and the Evjue Foundation – we’re currently half-way through. Posts have explored issues such as; access to medicines, vaccine hesitancy, psychedelics, inequalities in pharmaceutical knowledge, and the advertising/marketing of pharmaceuticals. You can catch up on them here, and stay tuned for more to come. If your research aligns with these themes and you would be interested in contributing to the series, please do get in touch.


In the past six months we’ve featured a number of posts that focus on international drug and alcohol cultures, including Kawal Deep Kour’s histories of Cannabis and Opium in India, Chuck Ambler’s history of cigarettes in Africa, Patrick Chiu’s history of A S Watson, Nina Holmes’ analysis of Irish drug health information material, and an interview with Wolfgang Sachsenröder about his work on the drug industry in Southeast Asia. A phenomenal teaching resource was also contributed by Myrna Santiago, who generously shared her Latin America-centric chronology of drugs. I’d like to ensure that this blog reflects the diversity of global drug and alcohol cultures – please do keep contributions coming.


The ‘Points Interview‘ feature has continued to be strong, with 6 author interviews, in which they all discuss their latest works. I hope to deliver more of these in the next 6 months, particularly showcasing the work of members of the Drinking Studies Network, and through different modalities than the written form.


Lastly, Points has delivered a number of posts which help to expand the ‘Vantage Points‘ feature beyond just Black History Month or Women’s History Month. We’d like to actively share posts all year round that discuss black histories, women’s histories and now LGBTQIA+ histories, in the context of the history of alcohol and drugs. You can check out the latest here.


I won’t spoil any surprises of what’s yet to come for H2 2022, but I hope this mid-year round-up brings your attention to posts or features you may have missed, or offers the opportunity to dig into the archives to re-visit your favourites.


Thank-you to Greg Bond for supporting a smooth transition, and to all the authors and contributing editors for their work and expertise. If you have any questions or suggestions for content, please do contact us to share your ideas, and I look forward to delivering more posts to you in the second half of 2022. Wishing you and yours a beautiful summer!

 
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