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The Narcotic Farm: The Rise and Fall of America's First Prison for Drug Addicts
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The Narcotic Farm: The Rise and Fall of America's First Prison for Drug Addicts

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  37 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
From 1935 until 1975, just about every junkie busted for dope went to the Narcotic Farm. Equal parts federal prison, treatment center, farm, and research laboratory, the Farm was designed to rehabilitate addicts and help researchers discover a cure for drug addiction. Although it began as a bold and ambitious public works project, and became famous as a rehabilitation ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Harry N. Abrams
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Nancy Oakes
The Narcotic Farm is a companion book to a PBS documentary of the same name. The film itself is available on Vimeo -- I watched it yesterday and just sat here sort of spellbound the entire time. I've posted more about this book on the nonfiction page of my online reading journal if anyone is interested.

I first heard of this book while reading Sam Quinones' Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic - up to then I had absolutely no clue that this place even existed. The United State
...more
peg
Jun 06, 2012 peg rated it really liked it
This brief history of the treatment of addiction piqued my interest when I saw it on display in a photography bookstore. I had never heard of the Narcotic Farm and was surprised that such a place existed in the 1930's. The early treatment modalities, philosophies, and research in the field of addiction described in this book are remarkable. I definitely plan to read some of the autobiographical accounts written by former patients treated in this institution.

In addition to the facinating story of
...more
Thorn MotherIssues
Apr 27, 2009 Thorn MotherIssues rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2009
There must be a movie being made about this place, but getting to see these photos and how drug addicts were presented in newspapers from the 1930s-1960s was just fascinating. I was particularly interested in the medical experimentation performed on the patients/prisoners at a time before that was considered unethical. I wish there had been more testimonials from people involved, but it's going to spur me to do more research.
Deborah
Mar 01, 2012 Deborah rated it really liked it
In reading this book, I learned about the US Narcotic Farm, built 6 miles from Lexington, Kentucky. From 1935-75, the world-class institution was a cross between prison (2/3 were prisoners) and hospital (1/3 were volunteers). On 1000 acres of farmland, participants grew their own food from kale to potatoes, and their own slaughtered cows and pigs, earning marks for excellent food. When food service shifted to institutional fare in the 1970s, prisoners protested the bad food. Begun in an era when ...more
David Ward
The Narcotic Farm: The Rise and Fall of America's First Prison for Drug Addicts by Nancy D. Campbell, Luke Walden, and J.P. Olsen (Harry N. Abrams Inc. 2005) (365.66+/-). This is an interesting book of photos of a joint project began in 1935 in Lexington, Kentucky by the Public Health Service and the Bureau of Prisons: The U.S. Narcotic Farm. It was a combination prison for drug addicts and a hospital for those who voluntarily sought treatment for his or her addiction. “'Narco,' as it was known ...more
Elyssa
Feb 08, 2009 Elyssa rated it it was amazing
I work in the substance abuse treatment field and this book is floating around my office. I decided to check it out and it's an interesting book. To tell the story of the Narcotic Farm, one of the earliest drug treatment facilities, the author combines text with photos, original documents, and newspaper clippings. I learned about how perceptions about drug addicts changed over time, early treatment approaches, and research studies that are the basis of some current substance abuse theories and ...more
Kelly
Aug 26, 2012 Kelly rated it it was ok
Okay. More of a picture book. I'll probably search for a documentary on it though, as any footage would undoubtedly be interesting.
Michael S
Jan 13, 2015 Michael S rated it really liked it
Excellent history about a great attempt at humane treatment of those afflicted with the terrible disease of addiction.
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