A Fine Line pp 35-71 | Cite as

Drugs Through Time: The History of the Regulation of Drug Consumption in Australia

  • George C. DertadianEmail author


This chapter provides a historical account of the development of Australian regulation of drugs and how this illustrates overlaps between the social and legal regulation in Australia since the turn of the twentieth century. The chapter draws on a set of historical case studies and conceptual discussions about opiates and other analgesics, their regulation and consumption. It outlines how political and expert knowledge has shaped the distinction between licit and illicit drugs. It also foregrounds how the strict legal control of substances deemed illicit have come under challenge from consumer and neoliberal cultures that promote self-autonomy and self-responsibility in medical consumption. This focus on individual choice and agency overlaps in important ways with recent developments in health promotion and public health.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social Sciences and PsychologyWestern Sydney UniversityPenrithAustralia

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