Talking About Drugs: Towards a More Reasoned Debate

Published 12/06/2013
Type Article
Author(s) Louise Sturgeon-Adams
Corresponding Authors Louise Sturgeon-Adams, Lecturer in Community Justice, Department of Social Sciences, University of Hull

This article aims to outline and discuss a number of issues that arise from the current popular conceptualisations of ‘the drug problem’. It is argued that debates focus on ‘taken-for-granted’ understandings of key terms and concepts, and in doing so, fail to grasp the complexities of the ways in which the drug problem is currently understood. The article therefore discusses current popular discourse by exploring the ways in which key terms are employed, and how these serve to simplify the issues concerned, and, at the same time to establish false divisions; key amongst these is the division between legal and illegal drugs. This article argues that it is only in acknowledging these complexities and contradictions that the debate can move forward.