Altered States: A History of Drug Use in America’

Produced in 1993, Altered States: A History of Drug Use in America regards the topic of various forms of addiction, its appearance, and development through the United States history. Different types of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco are mentioned in this documentary, and the methods of the appliance before discovering its effect on the person’s brain were revealed. The core idea of the film is that addiction is not only a problem of present-day development but also has deep roots in American social history (WXXI Public Broadcasting Council, 1993). The directors attempt to present this topic comprehensively, outlining various methods of applying drugs and alcohol, their helpfulness for the lives of ancestral generations. However, it is evident that the film highlights the significant negative consequences of such abuses and addresses the necessity to cope with this problem.

This film has a close connection to the material, which was discussed during week 2. It supports the thesis that addiction, which implies a complex of biological, psychological, social, and spiritual issues, is the issue that follows humanity through its existence (Wormer & Davis, 2016). Moreover, its consequences may seem not to be evident, but they are comprehensive. I sometimes encounter such occasions in today’s life, as drug abuse has become some kind of mainstream (Choate, 2015). Therefore, adolescents resourcing to such a form of entertainment is a common sight.

As for me, I appreciate the aforementioned film significantly, and I am willing to recommend watching it to future classes. It is extremely educational in the aspect of the practical appliance of drugs and alcohol in medicine, everyday routine, and everyday routine. This way, it provides a deep insight into the topic of addiction and helps obtain new knowledge and broaden the mind.


Choate, P.W. (2015). Adolescent alcoholism and drug addiction: The experience of parents. Behavioral Sciences, 5, 461-476.

Wormer, K., & Davis, D. R. (2016). Addiction treatment. Cengage Learning.

WXXI Public Broadcasting Council. (1993). Altered states: A history of drug use in America [Film].