Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Great Drug War now in second edition

In 1983 a young man named Fred Collins made a daring escape from a private prison annex by throwing a chair through a window and climbing out. Having been starved for months he looked like a victim from a Nazi concentration camp. Amazingly, the prison annex happened to be the home owned by his own parents! The prison was the infamous Straight, Inc. which operated juvenile torture camps in the name of drug abuse treatment all over the country. In 1984 a federal jury awarded Mr. Collins (who had been an honors student at Virginia Tech before being shanghaied into Straight) $220,000 for being falsely imprisoned. $180,000 was for punitive damages alone! Arnold Trebach is a professor emeritus of law and social justice at American University. He learned about the trial from the local papers and was aghast from what he read.

In 1986 Professor Trebach published a book about the Reagan drug war of the Eighties and of the harm it caused to ordinary Americans as well as to our concepts of freedom. Today, to his own surprise, Professor Trebach is an admirer of Ronald Reagan for his dealings with the old Soviet Empire. Nevertheless, while the Reagans claimed to believe in personal freedom, they launched a campaign that justified perverse intrusions into the very bodies and bodily fluids of American citizens. Ronald Reagan endorsed Straight brochures and Nancy visited most of the Straight torture camps. Professor Trebach called his book The Great Drug War. An entire chapter is devoted to the Collins' trial and to the abuses of Straight up to that time. Psychology Today has this to say about TGDW, "At last! A professor, attorney, and writer who offers a reasonable and realistic approach to the drug problem in America." In the 1980s Arnold Trebach (and his Drug Policy Foundation) was the only intellectual voice around exposing institutional abuse in bogus treatment centers.Now a second edition of The Great Drug War, with a new introduction, is available. We wish the new edition could have been called The Late Great Drug War but this insidious, phony war rages on. The book is published by Unlimited Publishing, LLC. It should be a required text for the cause of reform by high school and college teachers in courses dealing with health education, drug policy, criminal justice, sociology, social work, and history. See Professor Trebach's write-up at

Order The Great Drug War at today.
School book stores should order from Baker & Taylor.

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