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A Fine Line pp 73-107 | Cite as

‘Discovering’ Non-Medical (Ab)Use: The Meaning and Measurement of Non-Medical Consumption

  • George C. Dertadian
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter provides a critical overview of medical and epidemiological literature and research on non-medical pharmaceutical consumption. It discusses how the prevailing terminology in the field pathologizes everyday practices of pharmaceutical use and informal sharing, presenting such practices as a form of diversion into criminal networks. The chapter articulates how research about non-medical consumption also conflates a range of levels of drug consumption and exaggerates its relationship with criminality. It articulates how these processes of pathologization have constructed non-medical consumption as a major social and criminal problem, rather than a health issue, thus requiring the investment of public funds in surveillance and policing strategies.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

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

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