From hallucigenic mushrooms and LSD, to coca and cocaine; from Homeric warriors and the Assassins to the first Gulf War and today's global insurgents - drugs have sustained warriors in the field and have been used as weapons of warfare, either as n-lethal psychochemical weapons or as a means of subversion. Lukasz Kamienski explores why and how drugs have been issued to soldiers to increase their battlefield performance, boost their courage and alleviate stress and fear - as well as for medical purposes. He also delves into the history of psychoactive substances that combatants 'self-prescribe', a practice which dates as far back as the Vikings. Shooting Up is a comprehensive and original history of the relationship between fighting men and intoxicants, from Antiquity till the present day, and looks at how drugs will determine the wars of the future in unforeseen and remarkable ways.
Lukasz Kamienski is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of International and Political Studies, Jagiellonian University, Krakow.