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What are we scared of? The absence of sociology in current debates about drug treatments and policies
journal contributionposted on 2005-01-01, 00:00 authored by Grazyna Zajdow
The official public policy related to recreational drug use and abuse in Australia is harm minimization or harm reduction. Definitions of harm minimization vary but a general statement is that harm minimization is a policy or programme intended to decrease adverse health, social and economic consequences of drug use, even though the user may continue to use psychoactive drugs. This type of definition is most often compared to a zero-tolerance policy that aims to eliminate all recreational drug abuse by legal and other means. Sociologists have historically scoffed at this latter policy. Unfortunately, what this has meant is that harm minimization in all its forms has not been the object of analytical work on the part of sociologists.