Questions & Corrections

I have worked really hard – alongside my editor, fact-checker, and lawyers in the US and UK – to make sure everything in the book is accurate. If there are any errors left in the text, I’d be grateful for your help in correcting them for future editions and for the record. If you spot any mistakes, please email me at the address above. I’ll post corrections on the same date, and give you a shout-out for spotting them.

If there was anything the book left you wondering, please do message me at chasingthescream@gmail.com and I’ll be happy to try to figure out the answer.

 

  • Corrections XX – posted 20th February 2019 I was emailed with a series of thoughtful and intelligent questions by Stephen who runs the YouTube channel Coffee Break, and in a series of email exchanges with him, a few areas came up that I thought it might be useful to clarify here for readers and to add as an additional footnote in the book.

    Stephen emailed me about the material covered in pages 173 to 175, which is about heroin use by American soldiers in Vietnam during the war there.

    In the text, I reference a study that was published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Stephen pointed out that I should have also have put a full citation in the footnotes giving the full name of the study and where readers can find it, and he’s totally right, so I’ll be adding a footnote to the full study: it’s called ‘Narcotic Use in Southeast Asia and Afterwards: An interview study of 898 returnees’. The full reference is Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1975;32(8):955-961. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1975.01760260019001

    You can also read some of Professor Robin’s interesting later reflections on the study here.

    Stephen read the study and wondered if I had misunderstood some of Professor Robin’s conclusions.

    Professor Robin showed that most troops who used heroin in Vietnam came home and stopped rapidly and did not continue their use in the US itself. I interpret these findings primarily as one more piece of evidence contributing to the growing insight that there is a huge environmental component to addiction – that where the environment makes people distressed and disconnected, addiction will generally go up; and where the environment makes people feel secure and connected, addiction will generally go down.

    It’s not the only factor, of course. There are significant biological and psychological components that exist alongside (and interact with) the environment. Chemical hooks, for example, are a real component in addiction, as is childhood trauma – along with other aspects I discuss more in my more recent book ‘Lost Connections.’

    Stephen asked me several questions that I had considered when I was reading Robin’s study for the book years ago, but didn't include in the book itself. His questions made me realise it would be a good idea to expand on this in the footnotes (and here, on this site) because they are, I think, interesting and instructive.

    He pointed out that Professor Robin interpreted her own data differently to my reading of it in Chasing The Scream. It’s normal for a scientist like Robin to gather data that are solid and undisputed, and then for others (like myself and Professor Bruce Alexander and Dr Gabor Mate) to interpret that data differently – but Stephen is right to suggest I should have made it clear in the text why I was doing this.

    He points out the following areas of disagreement between Robin and me about what her findings mean - I'd like to go through one by one and explain why I read her findings differently:

    DISAGREEMENT WITH ROBIN, ONE:

    Robin did not think that avoiding distress was the key driver of this heroin use in Vietnam. As Stephen explained in his email, “it was asked why these people used heroin while at war, and the vast majority of them responded "to get high" rather than to "relieve depression" or "relieve boredom". This seems to fly in the face of the dislocation hypothesis, where you'd expect depression, boredom and fear to be the main drivers.”

    40% said the goal of their heroin use was to “get high”, while 9% said to “relieve depression”, 9 percent said “to relieve boredom”, and 8 percent said “to relieve fear.”

    MY REASON FOR DISAGREEING, ONE:

    (a) As I explain in Chasing The Scream, today most drug use isn't addictive use (even with 'harder' drugs) - in fact, even according to the UNODC (the main drug war body in the world), 90 percent of all currently banned drug use is 'non-problematic' use. So it's natural that even in the extreme circumstances of Vietnam, there would be plenty of recreational use, and some people would describe themselves that way accurately because they were in fact recreational users and not addicted.

    (b) Perhaps most importantly, I don't think the options Professor Robin presented them with cancel each other out. Almost everyone I know who has an addiction would tell you they used their heroin or crack or drug of choice to "get high" (or get drunk etc) - using a drug to get high doesn't preclude you having an addiction. "Getting high" is what takes away the pain for people with addiction problems. If you're reading from those figures that everyone who gave "getting high" as the goal of their drug use as a statement that they weren't addicted, that would rule out the vast majority of people who you and I would describe as addicted today.

    (c) Even if you thought naming "getting high" as the primary reason for your use precluded you being addicted (and I think it's very hard to make such a case), it would be important to bear in mind: Addictive use is deeply stigmatised now. It was far, far more stigmatised when Professor Robins was writing - the fact that the vast majority of soldiers, given a tick-list of options, would say "getting high" as their goal rather than "avoiding pain" will be skewed by that stigma.

    If you go now and ask the first homeless drug users you meet why they are using (as I have done many times), even with people who clearly have really problematic addictions, most of them will give you a similar answer. Addiction is a really painful condition that it's hard to talk about, especially in a context of deep stigma. Under-reporting of addiction is very common.

    DISAGREEMENT WITH ROBIN, TWO:

    She wrote: "The argument that addiction in Vietnam was a response to war stress, and therefore remitted on exit from the Vietnam war theatre, is still frequently cited as though it were self-evident, because it sounds so plausible. Yet accepting this argument is difficult in the face of the facts. Heroin was so readily available in Vietnam that more than 80% were offered it, and usually within the week following arrival. Those who became addicted had typically begun use early in their Vietnam tour, before they were exposed to combat."

    MY REASON FOR DISAGREEING, TWO

    Every soldier sent to Vietnam knew that it was a terrible and terrifying war where they could be killed and where they may have to kill – so I find it a bit strange that she implies that “war stress” only begins in the active combat-zone itself. If I was told that next month I was going to have to fight in Vietnam, and started taking heroin to calm myself today, I think it would be a peculiar interpretation to say “it is hard to say Johann used heroin to deal with the war stress. He started using before he was exposed to combat.”

    The soldiers used the heroin knowing they were on their way into a combat-zone that would be horrific and where they could die and where they could be made to commit horrible crimes against civilians. Most were conscripts who didn’t want to be there at all. They were under intolerable pressure.

    That’s why I think it’s reasonable to interpret this heroin use when they arrived in Vietnam in their first week of deployment as, in many (not all) instances, a response to war stress. (I stress not all, because some of it will simply have been recreational use.)

    DISAGREEMENT WITH ROBIN, THREE:

    She thought the main reasons people stopped using after they came home from Vietnam were because their family and friends disapproved, and because it was harder to get hold of the drug.

    MY REASON FOR DISAGREEING, THREE:

    I think we need to understand Robin’s data in terms of what we’ve learned since about the interaction between the environment and addiction.

    We now have a lot of evidence demonstrating that there’s a very significant environmental component to human addiction. Ann Case and Angus Deaton’s studies, to name a great (and heart-breaking) recent example, have shown that the areas with the highest opiod addictions & deaths are the areas with the highest disconnection, interpreted broadly (which is not to say that it’s the only factor: it’s not, as they stress).

    The most powerful human example is the transformation in the drug policies of Portugal and Switzerland in the past twenty years. They made drugs more easily accessible, yet at the same time, they dealt with many of the underlying disconnections that were driving the addiction epidemics in their countries – and they saw a significant and well-documented fall in problematic drug use and overdoses.

    If Robin was right and it was both availability of the drug and disapproval from relatives and friends that were the main reasons why people broke opioid addictions, it would be really hard to account for the huge fall in addiction in Portugal and Switzerland since they (respectively) decriminalised or legalised. They made the drug more easily available; and there was a reduction in social stigma from friends and family, not an increase; yet addiction fell – largely because they dealt with the deeper dislocations. (I go through how in the book, in chapters sixteen and seventeen.) The vast majority of people who have studied the Swiss and Portuguese successes (and the people working in it on the ground, who I spent loads of time with) think problematic drug use has fallen because they dealt much more successfully with the environmental factors that cause addiction.

    I’m grateful to Stephen for raising these questions and I’ll be adding the full details of the study and a link to these reflections to the footnotes of the book.
  • Corrections XIX – posted June 19th 2017

    On page 19 of Chasing The Scream, I write, about Billie Holiday: "Billie brought herself up on the streets of Baltimore, alone, defiant. It was the last city without a sewer system in the United States, and she spent her childhood among clouds of stinking smoke from all the burning shit.”

    I have been contacted by a reader called Debrah Sambuco explaining that the second sentence there can’t be right. She wrote: “I am writing to tell you of an error in your otherwise very good and interesting book Chasing the Scream… The sewer system in Baltimore was built before Billie Holiday was born. She never lived in the city before it had a sewer system. Baltimore's sewer system was begun after the Great Fire of 1904. By 1915, when Billie Holiday was born, it was already very extensive and nearing completion. Here is a pdf of a history of Baltimore's sewer system from Waterfront.com.

    I also checked the historic newspaper database Baltimore Sun Historic, and found many articles, dated before Ms. Holiday's birth, about the work being done on the new sewage system. One article, dated January 6, 1912, was entitled "Sewers Rapidly Completed." Here is part of the text of that article: "The Sewerage Commission is preparing to notify the Health Department of the new completion of large sections of the new sanitary system of sewers in East, South, West, and Northwest Baltimore.....  Letters from Moscow and Constantinople received yesterday by Sewage Engineer Hendrick show the extent of international advertising Baltimore is getting from the new sewage system. This was three years before Billie Holiday was born.”

    I’ve checked this out and Debrah is right: I’ll have that second sentence cut from future editions of the book.

    She also pointed out a related error in the publishing of the endnotes. On p311, I refer the reader to page 6 of Billie's memoir 'Lady Sings The Blues.' I had intended to refer the reader to this if they want further information relating to the first sentence I quote above - "Billie brought herself up on the streets of Baltimore, alone, defiant", which is the subject of that chapter of the memoir. By an editing mistake I should have spotted before publication, the endnotes make it seem like this is, in fact, the place to look for a reference for the second sentence – "It was the last city without a sewer system in the United States." That’s incorrect - the next endnote I give in the book gives the source for that claim, which turned out to be incorrect, or to be misunderstood by me. I'll also have this end-noting error corrected in future editions too.

    Thanks to Debrah for pointing out these mistakes – I appreciate it. If you’ve read the book and spotted any errors please do drop me a line (click to email). I’ll look into it and if you’re right I’ll thank you on here.

     
  • Corrections XVII – posted June 17th 2016 Captain Paul Vandenbos has emailed to point out an error on page 86. I refer to somebody being a 'Lieutenant Colonel' in the US Navy, which is in fact a rank in the US Army; the correct description of this position in the Navy is 'Commander.' Thanks to Captain Vandenbos for pointing this out - it will be corrected in future editions of the book.
  • Corrections XVI – posted June 6th 2016

    On page 183 of Chasing The Scream, I write:

    It would be absurd to say the chemicals play no role at all in, say, cigarette or crack addiction. So how much really is due to the chemicals, and how much is due to the social factors? What’s the ratio?

    As I read more, I stumbled across—in the work of an amazing scientist called Richard DeGrandpre—an experiment that gives us a quite precise answer, in percentage terms. You may well be taking part in it right now.

    When nicotine patches were invented in the early 1990s, public health officials were thrilled. They believed in the theory of addiction that almost everyone believes in: addiction is caused by chemical hooks that are hidden in the drug. You use a drug for a while, and your body starts to crave and need the chemical in a physical way. This isn’t hard to grasp. Anybody who has tried to quit caffeine knows that chemical hooks are real: I am trying it as I type this, and my hands are very slightly shaking, my head is aching, and I just snapped at the guy sitting opposite me in the library.

    Everyone agrees that cigarette smoking is one of the strongest addictions: it is ranked on pharmaceutical addictiveness scales alongside heroin and cocaine. It is also the deadliest. Smoking tobacco kills 650 out of every hundred thousand people who use it, while using cocaine kills four. And we know for sure what the chemical hook in tobacco is—it’s nicotine.

    The wonder of nicotine patches, then, is that they can meet a smoker’s physical need—the real in-your-gut craving—while bypassing some of the really dangerous effects of smoking tobacco. So if the idea of addiction we all have in our heads is right, nicotine patches will have a very high success rate. Your body is hooked on the chemical; it gets the chemical from the nicotine patch; therefore, you won’t need to smoke anymore.

    The pharmacology of nicotine patches works just fine—you really are giving smokers the drug they are addicted to. The level of nicotine in your bloodstream doesn’t drop if you use them, so that chemical craving is gone. There is just one problem: even with a nicotine patch on, you still want to smoke. The Office of the Surgeon General has found that just 17.7 percent of nicotine patch wearers were able to stop smoking.

    How can this be? There’s only one explanation: something is going on that is more significant than the chemicals in the drug itself. If solving the craving for the chemical ends 17.7 percent of the addictions in smokers, the other 82.3 percent has to be explained some other way.

    Now, 17.7 percent certainly isn’t a trivial amount. That’s a large number of people with improved lives. It would be foolish and wrong to say the drug has no effect—tobacco cigarettes are considerably more addictive than menthol cigarettes, to give just one example. But it would be equally foolish to say what we have been saying for a century—that the chemicals themselves are the main cause of drug addiction. That assertion doesn’t match the evidence.

    This point is worth underscoring. With the most powerful and deadly drug in our culture, the actual chemicals account for only 17.7 percent of the compulsion to use. The rest can only be explained by the factors Gabor and Bruce have discovered.”

    This week, I received an email from Garret Merriam, who is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern Indiana, with an important correction to this passage. He wrote:

    Dear Mr. Hari,

    I have just finished "Chasing the Scream" and I enjoyed it tremendously. I found it to be thorough, engaging, fair and thought-provoking. I think it is fair to say that you have persuaded me of your core theses (but then again, I was pretty sympathetic towards them going in.) I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about this topic, but I had never heard of Harry Anslinger before. I feel a large gap in my knowledge base has been filled. For that reason, among others, I have recommended the book to several colleagues and friends.

    But I did want to address the one part where I felt there was a glaring logical error in your text. On page 183 of the paperback edition you note that "The Office of the Surgeon General has found that just 17.7 percent of nicotine patch wearers were able to stop smoking." I take no issue with that claim, but later on the same page you draw the following conclusion from this stat: "With the most powerful and deadly drug in our culture, the actual chemicals account for only 17.7 percent of the compulsion to use."

    That conclusion simply does not follow from the Surgeon General's statistic. The figure of 17.7% refers to PEOPLE, not to amounts of their compulsion; when you draw your conclusion, you equivocate between those two very different things. It might be the case that the chemicals account for, say, 30% of the compulsion to use, BUT only 17.7% of users have the willpower to overcome the remaining 70% of the compulsion accounted for by other factors. (By the same token, the chemicals might account for more than 30%, or less than 17.7%, or somewhere in between.) We simply cannot draw conclusions about how much of the compulsion comes from the chemicals based solely on the success rates of people who can quit when the chemical is removed as a factor. All we can conclude is that 17.7% of people are capable of overcoming the non-chemical factors.

    I hope that doesn't seem too nit-picky, but I catch logical fallacies for a living, so that kind of jumped out at me. Notwithstanding this fairly small error, I again wish to express my praise for your book, as well as my gratitude to you for writing it.

    Sincerely yours,”

    This is a really important correction. When I was explaining this point in an interview recently, I realized there was something wrong with what I was saying – but I couldn’t put my finger on what.

    Thank you to Merriam for pointing this out, and I’ll be correcting this point in future editions of the book to reflect the point he makes.

    (This is also proof I should have concentrated more in my philosophy classes when they talked about logical fallacies: more Bertrand Russell, less Nietzsche...)

     
  • Corrections – XV, posted April 14th 2016

    I was asked by a few people on the book’s Facebook page to respond to an article on the excellent addiction and recovery website ‘The Fix’ that was entitled ‘Four Things Hari Gets Wrong,’ by an activist called Andrew Dobbs.

    I’m happy to correct any mistakes in the book or anything I said – on this site I’ve corrected over twenty errors, and thanked the people who pointed them out in the latest edition of the book. In this case, after looking into this carefully, I could find no factual errors that were pointed out. There are some philosophical disagreements, which I’m happy to engage with, and to clarify my position here, so others can make up their own minds.

    First of all I’d like to congratulate Andrew Dobbs on his recovery, and engage in the limited disagreements I have with him in a tone of love and compassion. We are on the same side in seeking to end the war on drugs, and to make sure people with addiction problems receive love and compassion, instead of shame and stigma. Our minor disagreements are a small shadow compared to what unites us.

    I’d also clarify that Andrew is obviously responding to my TED talk and not to my book, since he claims I do not make arguments that I in fact do make in detail in the book.

    Andrew’s criticisms are as follows:

    (1) The title of my TED talk, ‘Everything You Think You Know About Addiction’, is condescending, since in fact most people with addiction problems know these things.

    But the “you” in this title, the people who I am addressing, are not just people with addiction problems, but everyone. Most of the people who have viewed this talk, just like most of the people who’ve read the book, don’t have addiction problems. I agree that most people who’ve been through addiction know the points I’m making intuitively. But we have to address a much wider audience if we are going to end this war – that’s why I’m talking to far more people than just people with addictions. And of that “you”, most of them didn’t know this stuff. I was speaking to a TED audience, of whom - I'd guess - fewer than 10% had addiction problems.

    This is a crucial point. I’m gay. I get to live as an equal citizen because gay people spoke to a much broader audience than just other gay people. That’s how we won our freedom. If we are going to win an end to the war on people with addictions, we can’t just talk to people with addictions.

    It would be condescending to tell people with addiction problems that what they know is wrong. But the “you” I’m talking to in the speech very clearly – when you watch it – isn’t people with addiction problems; it’s largely everyone else.

    If, in 1955, I had given a speech saying "Everything you think you know about homosexuality is wrong," explaining that gay people are not paedophiles etc, you can imagine some gay people might misunderstand and say: "I already knew that. How condescending." But most would have known that this wasn't a speech for them - it was a speech for everyone else, to get them to stop persecuting gay people.

    (2) He argues I have no training and I am not an addict myself, so my arguments do not have validity, or are diminished.

    In fact, my insights into addiction come from closely studying the evidence from the social sciences. I was trained in depth in the social sciences at Cambridge University, where I got a double first, the highest qualification you can get; so I have been given the best training in the world at how to assess this evidence. It’s true I don’t have addiction problems. Some of the best advocates for equality for gay people were not gay – whenever a heterosexual person joins the fight for equality for gay people, I welcome them with open arms. Every successful struggle to defend a minority welcomes people from other groups who join their fight for dignity.

    (3) He argues that I fail to see that “addiction has a physical component.” He comments: “This should be obvious to everyone familiar with one of the world’s most addictive drugs – nicotine”

    In fact, my book lays out the evidence that addiction has a physical component very clearly. Indeed, I use nicotine as a key example.

    Here’s what it says:

    “It would be absurd to say the chemicals play no role at all in, say, cigarette or crack addiction. So how much really is due to the chemicals, and how much is due to the social factors? What’s the ratio?

    As I read more, I stumbled across—in the work of an amazing scientist called Richard DeGrandpre—an experiment that gives us a quite precise answer, in percentage terms. You may well be taking part in it right now.

    When nicotine patches where invented in the early 1990s, public health officials were thrilled. They believed in the theory of addiction that almost everyone believes in: addiction is caused by chemical hooks that are hidden in the drug. You use a drug for a while, and your body starts to crave and need the chemical in a physical way. This isn’t hard to grasp. Anybody who has tried to quit caffeine knows that chemical hooks are real: I am trying it as I type this, and my hands are very slightly shaking, my head is aching, and I just snapped at the guy sitting opposite me in the library.

    Everyone agrees that cigarette smoking is one of the strongest addictions: it is ranked on pharmaceutical addictiveness scales alongside heroin and cocaine. It is also the deadliest. Smoking tobacco kills 650 out of every hundred thousand people who use it, while using cocaine kills four. And we know for sure what the chemical hook in tobacco is—it’s nicotine.

    The wonder of nicotine patches, then, is that they can meet a smoker’s physical need—the real in-your-gut craving—while bypassing some of the really dangerous effects of smoking tobacco. So if the idea of addiction we all have in our heads is right, nicotine patches will have a very high success rate. Your body is hooked on the chemical; it gets the chemical from the nicotine patch; therefore, you won’t need to smoke anymore.

    The pharmacology of nicotine patches works just fine—you really are giving smokers the drug they are addicted to. The level of nicotine in your bloodstream doesn’t drop if you use them, so that chemical craving is gone. There is just one problem: even with a nicotine patch on, you still want to smoke. The Office of the Surgeon General has found that just 17.7 percent of nicotine patch wearers were able to stop smoking.

    How can this be? There’s only one explanation: something is going on that is more significant than the chemicals in the drug itself. If solving the craving for the chemical ends 17.7 percent of the addictions in smokers, the other 82.3 percent has to be explained some other way.

    Now, 17.7 percent certainly isn’t a trivial amount. That’s a large number of people with improved lives. It would be foolish and wrong to say the drug has no effect—tobacco cigarettes are considerably more addictive than menthol cigarettes, to give just one example. But it would be equally foolish to say what we have been saying for a century—that the chemicals themselves are the main cause of drug addiction. That assertion doesn’t match the evidence.

    This point is worth underscoring. With the most powerful and deadly drug in our culture, the actual chemicals account for only 17.7 percent of the compulsion to use. The rest can only be explained by the factors Gabor and Bruce have discovered.”

    So I in fact make the very argument he accuses me of not making. I had also made this argument in many interviews by the time he wrote this article.

    (4) He argues that I say loneliness is the only cause of addiction, and that this is not the case.

    Here, Andrew is arguing against a case I have never made. When I talk about disconnection being a cause of addiction, I am not just talking about disconnection from the people around you – I am also, as I lay out at length in the book, talking about disconnection from meaning and purpose and other deeper forms of disconnection. Loneliness is a significant component; but I have never said it is the only one. If I had, Andrew would be right to criticize it.

    (5) He says with addiction, “the determining factor is almost certainly physical and/or genetic.”

    He asserts this without evidence. While there are physical and genetic components, I go through the evidence in the book that suggests this view that it is the "determining factor" is incorrect. I would urge Andrew to read the work of Professor Marc Lewis, Professor Carl Hart, Stanton Peele, and others who have engaged with this in depth. The claims he says is "almost certain" is in fact massively contested, and there is no evidence for it. (These factors are real, but they are not "the determining factor", above all else.)

    (6) He says I fail to acknowledge that “enabling is a real threat to addicts,” and then explores the problems that can emerge if somebody facilitates destructive behavior by addicts.

    Andrew is again arguing against a position I don’t hold. I have always made clear that it is possible to develop destructive relationships with people who have addiction problems, and that this can be bad for both the addicted person, and the person who believes they are helping them.

    All I said is that I’m against cutting off people with addiction problems, or threatening them, as a first resort, or as anything other than an absolute last resort. That doesn’t mean I’m in favor of giving every person with an addiction anything they ask for, or tolerating anything they try to do. I’ve never said that, and I’ve never done that. It would be right to criticize anyone who said that; but that person isn't me.

    (7) He says it is “irresponsible” of me to speak to people about the need for them to strengthen their relationships with addicts, without at the same time warning that people with addiction may not respect boundaries.

    In a short twelve minute talk, I couldn’t say everything. There is nobody in Western culture who doesn’t know that addicts can be chaotic, ask for too much, or behave destructively. They don’t need me to spell it out. When I sit with people who are trying to love someone with addiction, I do discuss this topic, and how I’ve tried to deal with it in my life. But if you give me twelve minutes to talk to a large audience, I won’t focus on reiterating points literally everyone knows.

    (8) He says I fail to acknowledge that “sobriety is connection.”

    He makes the case that for many people, they discover connection precisely through discovering communities of other sober people who are recovering from addiction problems.

    I agree with Andrew that sobriety, for many people, can be a route to connection. It’s one I have urged for some of the people I most love.

    But I do not believe that sobriety is always connection. I know lots of sober people who are profoundly disconnected, and it manifests as depression or anxiety. So I don’t think it is true to say “sobriety is connection”, as an invariable rule.

    (9) He then argues that I have never apologized since 2011 for some serious errors I made many years ago in some of my journalism. In fact I explored these questions in depth, four months before Andrew wrote this piece, in an interview in the Guardian with Decca Aitkenhead, and apologized in depth. If he had googled my name, it would have been one of the top results, so I am puzzled about why he made this claim.

    I am sure Andrew will, if he looks at this evidence, correct the factual errors in his piece.

     
  • Corrections XIV – posted September 8th 2015

    A few more corrections have come through from readers:

    On page 121, explaining the origins of the Mexican drug cartel the Zetas, I wrote: “It would be as if the Navy Seals defected from the U.S. Army to help the Crips take over Los Angeles— and succeeded.” Michael Amygdalidis emailed to point out that the Navy Seals aren’t part of the US Army – they’re part of the US Navy, so the sentence doesn’t make much sense. In future, it will say “defected from the US military.” Thanks to Michael for pointing this out.

    On page 277, I refer to the city of Waunakee, where Tonya Winchester worked. She in fact worked in the city of Wenatchee. Thanks to Vito Perillo and Geoff Ashworth for pointing this out.

    And although nobody has mentioned them, I also want to correct two small mistakes I realized I made in a few interviews in Australia.

    I discussed the evidence that 85 percent of people who use ‘ice’ (crystal meth) don’t become addicted, and I referred to research by Professor Carl Hart at Columbia University. I learned about this research from Carl, and he has written about it himself brilliantly, and conducted other crucial research into this drug. But the original research yielding the 85 percent figure was in fact carried out – as Carl himself acknowledges whenever he writes or talks about it – by MS O’Brien and JC Anthony. It was published in the journal Drug Alcohol Dependency in September 2009, in the article ‘Extra-medical stimulant dependence among recent initiates.’ I apologize for this error: I’ll give them the credit whenever I discuss this in future.

    Also, I have tried to stress in interviews I’ve done that whenever I quote from one of the subjects of my book when I speaking off the cuff, on the radio or in answer to questions at events, I’m paraphrasing them – I haven’t memorized verbatim everything they said to me. It occurred to me that I forgot to do that in some of my more recent speeches. So I’d like to reiterate that all the quotes in the book are verbatim and can be heard on this website; any quote I offer from memory when giving non-scripted talks or interviews in public may be slightly off and if you want the exact words, it’s best to consult the book, or the audio I’ve posted here.

    If there are any mistakes you spot in the book, please do email me, and I’ll thank you here: the email address is chasingthescream@gmail.com

 

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