From 1991 to 1997, David F. Musto, MD, professor of the history of medicine and child psychiatry at the Child Study Center at Yale University, along with co-author Pamela Korsmeyer, conducted research for a book entitled The Quest for Drug Control: Politics and Federal Policy in a Period of Increasing Substance Abuse, 1963–1981.
The book provides a close look at the politics and bureaucracy of drug-control policy during those years, showing how they changed during the presidencies of Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Carter and how much current federal drug-control policies owe to those earlier efforts.
- To develop the book, Musto and Korsmeyer conducted historical research, writing and editing supported by archiving, filing, data entry and related organizational tasks. The entire activity was carried out as follows:
- An initial period of about six months devoted to reading and extracting the principal published works on the history of narcotics and related social and political issues between 1963 and 1981.
- Setting up databases and archives to accommodate a very large bibliography of articles, books and newspaper clippings.
- Intensive focus-entailing collection and analysis of materials-on the formative period in the history of drug use and control policy, 1968–1973.
- Twenty-two interviews of major and minor figures involved in federal drug policy development and administration during the period.
- Yale University Press published The Quest for Drug Control: Politics and Federal Policy in a Period of Increasing Substance Abuse, 1963–1981, in 2002. The book is accompanied by a searchable CD-ROM including some 5,000 pages of White House documents from the period, covering the intense debates that took place over drug policy.