The Exile Nation Project - Interview with Julie Holland, M.D.

A frank and honest conversation with one of America's leading drug policy experts and the author of the best-selling Weekends at Bellevue.
Charles Shaw
14 August 2011

Dr. Holland will be a featured presenter at the upcoming openDemocracy symposium, After the War on Drugs: Envisioning a Post-Prohibition World, September 16-17, 2011, Oxford House, London.

The Land of the Free punishes or imprisons more of its citizens than any other nation. This collection of testimonials from criminal offenders, family members, and experts on America’s criminal justice system puts a human face on the millions of Americans subjugated by the US Government's 40 year, one trillion dollar social catastrophe: The War on Drugs; a failed policy underscored by fear, politics, racial prejudice and intolerance in a public atmosphere of "out of sight, out of mind."


From 1996 to 2005, Dr. Julie Holland ran the psychiatric emergency room at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. She is considered an expert on street drugs and intoxication states, and lectures widely on this topic. She is regularly quoted as an authority on addiction, cannabis, MDMA, and drug policy in countless magazines, newspaper and websites including Harper's, Slate, SF Chronicle, LA Times, & the Wall Street Journal.

Her interest in MDMA as a therapeutic agent led her to author an extensive research paper, resulting in multiple television appearances, forensic consultations, and a book, Ecstasy: The Complete Guide. Her first book, the best-selling Weekends at Bellevue, chronicled her experiences in the Emergency ward of New York's famed psychiatric hospital.

More than anything else, she is respected for her frankness, honesty, and compassion.

This complete interview is #5 of 100 in The Exile Nation Project's archive, which can be found on ExileNation.org.

In this excerpt, Dr. Holland explains the Harm Reduction Model of addiction and how it differs from the Disease Model.

She also "diagnoses" our culture in relation to how it treats addiction and recovery, and offers some profound observations

In this excerpt, Dr. Holland describes how she first became involved in drug policy reform, and what has kept her active over the years.

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