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The Silent “G”: A Case Study in the Production of “Drugs” and “Drug Problems”

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2012
<mark>Journal</mark>Contemporary Drug Problems
Issue number3
Number of pages26
Pages (from-to)565-590
<mark>Original language</mark>English


ConferenceContemporary Drug Problems Conference: Beyond the Buzzword: Problematising ‘Drugs’


This paper focuses on ‘G’ in the United Kingdom (UK), G being the collective term for gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and gamma-butyrolactone (GBL). Drawing on empirical data and taking a critical drug studies perspective, we use G as a case study in how drug cultures move through phases whereby a diffuse and contested network of emergent practices, agencies and processes become progressively ordered into a more stable and conventional set of problems and actors, here G and the ‘G problem’. The production of former ‘legal high’ G as a particular kind of drug in this network has shaped its relative neglect within UK research, policy and practice as compared to mephedrone, another former ‘legal high’. Our case study supports the longstanding observation that researchers, policy-makers and practitioners contribute to the performative and material constitution of ‘drugs’ and ‘drug problems’, upon which we reflect in our conclusion.