In a startling new book, Drug Use for Grown-Ups, the Ivy League professor argues that the dangers of recreational drug use have been wildly overstated

“I am now entering my fifth year as a regular heroin user,” writes Carl Hart in his revelatory new book, Drug Use for Grown-Ups. Fifty-four-year-old Hart is the Ziff professor of psychology at Columbia University. Regular heroin use and high academic achievement are not two pursuits that we expect to see in the same life story. At least not openly. Heroin is by popular consensus the worst of drugs, the one that leaves users hopelessly strung-out and slavishly addicted. How can you be a regular user and hold down a prestigious Ivy League professorship? And why would you admit to it?

As Hart continues: “I do not have a drug-use problem. Never have. Each day, I meet my parental, personal and professional responsibilities. I pay my taxes, serve as a volunteer in my community on a regular basis and contribute to the global community as an informed and engaged citizen. I am better for my drug use.”

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