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Introduction: Drugs and Culture


Asserting that medicalization is nothing but a specific form of problematization underscores both the general signification of the phenomenon and its relative commonality: it is one of many configurations of problems. In the case of addiction in France, it evolved during the late 1980s and early 1990's from a problem of drug withdrawal to one of risk reduction. The former was formulated by psychiatrists with the objective of weaning addicts off drugs. The latter was defined by public health specialists who considered that the major threat was infectious diseases caused by the injection of drugs. The traditional medicalization of addictions involves a distinction between good and bad behaviors, temperance and dependence, governing of the self and giving oneself up. On the one hand, medicalization substitutes itself to law enforcement activities or, the liberal programs of syringe and needle exchange and methadone treatment displace the repressive activities of the police.


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hal-02534811 , version 1 (07-04-2020)



Maitena Milhet, M Molloney, Geoffrey Hunt. Introduction: Drugs and Culture. Henri Bergeron; Geoffrey Hunt; Maitena Milhet; Henri Bergeron. Drugs and Culture: Knowledge, Consumption and Policy, Ashgate Publishing, pp.1 - 12, 2011, 9781409405436. ⟨hal-02534811⟩


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