Narcotic Addition: A History of the Drug Addiction Legislation of New York State, 1893-1965

Osbert Tomlinson Chevers, Fordham University


The comprehensive definition of anthropology is "The study of man and his works, "I and it centers its attention on man, whether the focus of concern is broad or narrow. This definition has pertinent meaning because what culture there is in a society with its strengths and weaknesses is "man-made." Poverty, sickness , crime and deviation from the norm is found in all known societies to a degree, and if that society falls to attack these social welfare and health problems, it will foster their growth until they strangle that society. However, man in our society has not failed to rise to action to better his welfare and improve his institutions, and most important, to help his fellow man. This "helping" process is traditionally an American heritage. In the days of the Pioneer, in the movement West, the strong helped the weak because the dignity and worth of man was strongly cherished. We in America, today, have not lost that feeling for our fellow man. Today we are witnessing all forms of crisis which threaten man’s welfare, but somehow the time, energy and knowledge are being accumulated, integrated and applied to bring man to a state of well-being. This has been the case in mental illness, alcohol addiction, and finally narcotic addiction. In the latter case, the assault on the problem has been sporadic and very gradual which made narcotic addiction very harmful to our society. Narcotic addiction is a problem we have had with us a long time, andit will remain a problem as long as members of the community stay apathetic to the situation or fail to take some action to prevent it. One of the best methods of mobilizing and taking action presently being emphasized is be increased cooperation and collaborative work among the various groups in the community, through their representatives in the State Legislature. They can identify and take vigorous action to the end that State’s laws be originated, developed or reformed with the objective of integrating community involvement with law enforcement, and effective narcotic addiction prevention and control. This study tells of man’s efforts in this area to better his social welfare and health in New York State.

Subject Area

Mental health

Recommended Citation

Chevers, Osbert Tomlinson, "Narcotic Addition: A History of the Drug Addiction Legislation of New York State, 1893-1965" (1966). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30308724.