This is made clear in two reports 6by Dr. Norman E. Zinberg
, a psychoanalyst and professor of education at Clark University
, who toured Vietnam in September 1971 on a fact-finding mission for the United States Department of Defense and the Drug Abuse Council--- the latter a private agency set up to encourage reason and common sense in United States drug laws, policies, and attitudes.
The aftermath of the army's antimarijuana campaign, Dr. Zinberg
continues, was disastrous: "Human ingenuity being what it is--- and the desire for an intoxicant in Vietnam being what it was--- many soldiers simply switched [to heroin].
Once it appeared, medical officials and commanding officers realized that they had acquired a far more serious problem.
One commanding officer told Dr. Zinberg
: "If it would get them to give tip the hard stuff, I would buy all the marijuana and hashish in the Delta as a present.
That an antimarijuana campaign can increase the use of heroin, documented by Dr. Zinberg
in Vietnam, is of course relevant also to United States civilian antimarijuana campaigns.
This is a topic to which we shall return in Part VIII.
The military response to the new drug peril was readily predictable.
"The Army is presently engaged in the same type of all-out campaign against heroin despite the results of the marijuana campaign Dr. Zinberg
reported in December 1971.
12 But by then it was too late; "the social barrier" 13 against heroin, in Dr. Zinberg's
phrase, had been broken--- and for users actually addicted to heroin, of course, marijuana was no longer an acceptable alternative.
also asks the question: if the army's antiheroin drive were to succeed, and heroin were to become unavailable to GI's, to what drug would they next turn?
The evidence reviewed in Chapter 10 above suggests that for many, perhaps most, heroin users, skid-row alcoholism would be the ultimate outcome.
We noted above that most nineteenth-century opiate addicts either took their drug by mouth, or smoked them; mainlining heroin became the dominant form of narcotic use only when repressive measures and the resulting high prices made less damaging routes of administration too costly.
and others report precisely the same phenomenon in Vietnam.
With high-quality heroin exceedingly cheap before the army's antiheroin drive, some 90 to 95 percent of all GI users sniffed ("snorted") the drug or inserted a little in a cigarette and smoked it.
Some 16 even took it orally; "I saw one young man who had just returned to base after 13 days in the field pour a vial of heroin (approximately 250 milligrams) into a large shot of vodka and drink it," Dr. Zinberg reports.
17 After the army's antiheroin campaign raised prices, however, such prodigality was no longer economically feasible; mainlining therefore increased in popularity.
"The increase in intravenous use," Dr. Zinberg
comments, "suggests that perhaps as a result of the Army's righteous efforts to stamp out heroin entirely, the drug scene has turned nastier, with potentially unpleasant consequences.
6. Norman E. Zinberg
, in New York Times Magazine
, December 5, 1971, pp.
37, 112-124; and in New York Law Journal
, December 6, 1971, p. 43.