Freedom and slavery: constructions of ideologies in illicit drugs treatment
conference contributionposted on 2005-01-01, 00:00 authored by Grazyna ZajdowGrazyna Zajdow
Freedom, autonomy, enslavement and coercion have a multitude of meanings which are determined by the writer’s discipline background and intent, even more so in the area of illicit drugs’ policy and treatment. This paper proposes to begin to untangle the multiplicity of meanings which are attached to two contrasting forms of illicit drugs treatment, harm minimisation and abstinence-based treatments. Both treatment regimes lay claim to the high moral ground in this regard - freedom and autonomy are explicit terms used in the rhetoric of both. How this can best be understood and what sociologists can contribute to the debates about illicit drug treatments is the terrain this paper traverses. It does this by laying out the different meanings of the terms in social theory and then by trying to understand the ‘truth’ claims of treatment proponents and using a Foucauldian perspective to critique these claims.