Substances normally ingested during the course of a day, such as caffeine or nicotine, are not generally regarded as drugs, however in Altered States: A History of Drug Use in America, they are included in a list of items that are subject to abuse. The film traces the use of tobacco from the earliest days of America through the alcohol-driven Prohibition, to modern-day use of recreational stimulants and sedatives. Then, as now, drugs are used to relieve pain or boredom, or to expand the state of consciousness. How drugs have influenced social, cultural, and political conditions is examined.
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