Cocaine Use in the British Military During World War I: Background information when reading Two Storm Wood

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Two Storm Wood

A Novel

by Philip Gray

Two Storm Wood by Philip Gray X
Two Storm Wood by Philip Gray
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    Mar 2022, 384 pages

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Cocaine Use in the British Military During World War I

This article relates to Two Storm Wood

Small glass bottle of Forced March cocaine tablets In his historical novel Two Storm Wood, Philip Gray portrays the reality of World War I mostly from the perspective of a young British officer, showing everything from the gruesome and harrowing details of war to lesser-known facts of everyday life for those serving in it. This reality includes substance use and abuse among troops. Drugs that are now heavily controlled, notably cocaine, were not only sought after by soldiers during the war but even encouraged and distributed by militaries, including the British Army.

In general, the intersection between mind-altering substances and war is an age-old phenomenon. According to Lukasz Kamienski, author of Shooting Up: A History of Drugs in Warfare, "Throughout history, intoxicants were an important part of the war experience. The First World War was by no means an exception in that respect: its main 'war drugs' were alcohol (mostly beer, brandy, rum, schnapps, wine, and vodka), morphine, and cocaine. These were both 'prescribed' by...

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