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Food Junkies Podcast

Jul 26, 2022

David Courtwright specializes in drug history. He also writes about violence, political and policy history, aviation, and frontier environments. He has taught medical, U.S., and world history at the University of North Florida, where he is presidential professor emeritus in the Department of History.

Courtwright has published influential books on drug use and drug policy, both in American and world history; the social problems of frontier environments on the land and in the air; and the culture war that roiled American politics during and after the 1960s. Whether it is about drugs, violence, aerospace, or cultural politics, his research is concerned with power, policy, and social structure. His ambition is to identify what drives fundamental changes in modern social and political history.

Courtwright's teaching and research have been recognized by the John A. Delaney Presidential Professorship, the UNF Distinguished Professor Award, five teaching awards, the College on Problems of Drug Dependence Media Award, and fellowships from the American Historical Association, NASA, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, including a 2016-2017 NEH Public Scholar Award.

In this episode:

Personal – how did Dr. Courtwright get into the history of addiction

Limbic Capitalism and pleasure circuitry

What is the food industry?

Digital Addiction

Activism & Awareness of Addiction

Sugar taxes and public policy

Dr. Courtwright’s latest book: The Age of Addiction – How Bad Habits Became Big Business

Consumerist Dystopia

Harm Reduction

Solutions – graffiti campaigns, public health notices, clever propaganda, class action suits

What’s next?

Signature Question

Find Dr. Courtwright:




               The Age of Addiction

               No Right Turn

               Sky As Frontier

               Forces of Habit

               Dark Paradise

               Violent Land

               Addicts Who Survived


The content of our show is educational only. It does not supplement or supersede the professional relationship and direction of your healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified mental health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, substance use disorder, or mental health concern.