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The “public health” approach to illicit drugs: an eradicative drug discourse in a sanitorial disguise?

The “public health” approach to illicit drugs: an eradicative drug discourse in a sanitorial... This study aims to problematize current calls for a “public health” approach to governing illicit drugs and the people who use them.Design/methodology/approachIt draws on a range of historical sources to describe how drugs became a problem for governments, in order to critically diagnose the present and investigate the origins of current perspectives on drugs.FindingsIt is argued that there are currently two authoritative drug discourses. The first discourse is the dominant one and is eradicative, with blame and punishment as its primary responses. The second discourse is subauthoritative, but growing in importance, and is sanitorial, with care and cure as its primary responses.Originality/valueWhile these two discourses have often been thought of as distinct, this historical exploration demonstrates that the eradicative and sanitorial discourses are both based on similar principles. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Drugs Habits and Social Policy Emerald Publishing

The “public health” approach to illicit drugs: an eradicative drug discourse in a sanitorial disguise?

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References (37)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2752-6739
eISSN
2752-6747
DOI
10.1108/dhs-09-2022-0030
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study aims to problematize current calls for a “public health” approach to governing illicit drugs and the people who use them.Design/methodology/approachIt draws on a range of historical sources to describe how drugs became a problem for governments, in order to critically diagnose the present and investigate the origins of current perspectives on drugs.FindingsIt is argued that there are currently two authoritative drug discourses. The first discourse is the dominant one and is eradicative, with blame and punishment as its primary responses. The second discourse is subauthoritative, but growing in importance, and is sanitorial, with care and cure as its primary responses.Originality/valueWhile these two discourses have often been thought of as distinct, this historical exploration demonstrates that the eradicative and sanitorial discourses are both based on similar principles.

Journal

Drugs Habits and Social PolicyEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 1, 2023

Keywords: Drugs; History of the present; Foucault; Discipline; Biopower; Discourses

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