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Pick Your Poison: Intoxicating Pleasures and Medical Prescriptions

This exhibit explores the factors that have shaped the changing definitions of some of our most potent drugs

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Where Atrium
Advertisement for medicinal drops to relieve toothache, Lloyd Manufacturing Co., 1885 Courtesy National Library of Medicine

This six panel exhibit,  Pick Your Poison: Intoxicating Pleasures and Medical Prescriptions, explores some of the processes, problems, and potentials inherent in technologies that use life.

Mind-altering drugs have been used throughout the history of America. While some remain socially acceptable, others are outlawed because of their toxic, and intoxicating, characteristics. These classifications have shifted at different times in history, and will continue to change. This exhibit explores the factors that have shaped the changing definitions of some of our most potent drugs, from medical miracle to social menace.

“Digital Gallery” offering a selection of digitized, historical texts from the History of Medicine Division’s diverse collections can be found as part of the online version of the exhibition.  These images provide viewers with new avenues to explore beyond the exhibition.

 

This exhibition was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine,

National Institutes of Health and the National Museum of American History

Arrangements for the showing of this exhibition was made by the
NSU Health Professions Divisions Library with the support of the NSU Alvin Sherman Library