Thursday, August 29, 2013

Moral panic and the 'pathogenic narrative on drugs'.

Here's an interesting article describing the 'negative loop' that exists in the media and society about illicit drugs - a loop consisting of prohibition - negative media - moral panic - prohibition.

It flags the twisted basis of research into drugs in Australia (as typified by our National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre, whose director Professor Jan Copeland has recently been getting active in online discussions, pushing her anti-cannabis stance - click the tags below for detailed stories about NCPIC).
An analysis of Australian discourse about psychoactive substance use explains this process in terms of the dominant pathogenic narrative of drugs, which limits discussion to their harm. Since Australian government funding is directed towards research that seeks to provide evidence of drug-related harm, the pathogenic narrative is self-reinforcing.
The article also explores the growing awareness that psychedelic drugs are not as dangerous as popular mythology holds and in fact may be very useful in treating some mental illnesses, especially MDMA's usefulness in treating post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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