Drug addiction and factory pharming

Scientific American has a slide show of classic photos from converted prison in 1950s Kentucky which was used as a massive addiction rehabilitation and research centre.

The pictures have a slightly surreal B-movie quality to them and I can’t help thinking of Philip K. Dick’s book A Scanner Darkly.

If that reference makes no sense to you, check out the book, or see the film, and you can see the sort of institution pictured by SciAm could have inspired the… well, you’ll just have to see.

According to the blurb the building “was a temporary home for thousands, including Sonny Rollins, Peter Lorre and William S. Burroughs as well as a lab for addiction treatments such as LSD”. The set even includes a picture of a jazz band consisting of patients.

Owing to the popularity of heroin in the 1950s jazz scene, it was probably a fairly impressive line-up.

Link to SciAm 1950s narcotics farm slide show.

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