Sunday, October 05, 2008

All in the Mind - Wakey Wakey! The many lives of amphetamine

This week's All in the Mind offers more info than you can ever want on amphetamines, the one-time wonder drug which was later rejected, and is now enjoying a resurgence in treating ADD and ADHD.

Wakey Wakey! The many lives of amphetamine

The 1929 discovery of amphetamine heralded the dawn of the age of Speed -- a drug with an extraordinary and triumphant career. The first modern antidepressant, a powerful prop in warfare, a diet pill, a devastating illicit drug -- now reincarnated as a treatment for ADHD. Historian of science Nicolas Rasmussen unearths the making of modern medicine, Big Pharma, and a humble stimulant.

Show Transcript | Hide Transcript


Downloadable and streaming audio are available by Saturday afternoons after broadcast. Transcripts are published by Wednesdays.


Nicolas Rasmussen
Associate Professor
School of History and Philosophy
University of New South Wales
Sydney, Australia

Further Information

Amphetamines information
From Reach Out! (Australian mental health and wellbeing themed youth website). Includes contact details for Drug Information and Advice Services across Australia.

National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (Australia)
Includes information about amphetamines, including Ice.

Methamphetamines position paper (Australian National Council on Drugs, 2007)
PDF file

Amphetamine information
Better Health Channel (Victorian Government, Australia)

Drugs and alcohol (stories and fact files from ABC Health Online)

Drug dependence (Part 1 of 2) - broadcast on The Health Report, ABC Radio National
August 2008

Drug dependence (Part 2 of 2) - broadcast on The Health Report, ABC Radio National
September 2008

ADHD Fact File (ABC Health Online)


Title: On Speed: The Many Lives of Amphetamine
Publisher: New York University Press (Distributed by Footprint Books in Australia), 2008
ISBN-13: 978-0-8147-7601-8

Title: America's First Amphetamine Epidemic, 1929-1971: A Quantitative and Qualitative Retrospective
Author: Nicolas Rasmussen
Publisher: Am J Public Health 98: 974-985 (2008)

Title: Making The First Anti-Depressant: Amphetamine In American Medicine, 1929-1950
Author: Nicolas Rasmussen
Publisher: Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 61: 288-323 (2006)

Title: The Commercial Drug Trial in Interwar America: Three Types of Clinician Collaborator
Author: Nicolas Rasmussen
Publisher: Bulletin of the History of Medicine 75: 50-80 (2005)
NB: Link is to a PDF file

Title: Of 'Small Men', Big Science, and Bigger Business: The Second World War and Biomedical Research in America
Author: Nicolas Rasmussen
Publisher: Minerva 40 (2): 1-32 (2002)

Title: Steroids in Arms: Science, Government, Industry, and the Hormones of the Adrenal Cortex in the United States, 1930-1950
Author: Nicolas Rasmussen
Publisher: Medical History 46: 299-324 (2002)

Title: The Moral Economy of the Drug Company-Medical Scientist Collaboration in Interwar America
Author: Nicolas Rasmussen
Publisher: Social Studies of Science 34: 161-186 (2004)


Natasha Mitchell

No comments: