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

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2012
JournalContemporary Drug Problems
Journal number3
Volume39
Number of pages26
Pages565-590
Original languageEnglish

Conference

ConferenceContemporary Drug Problems Conference: Beyond the Buzzword: Problematising ‘Drugs’
CountryItaly
CityPrato
Period3/10/114/10/11

Abstract

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.

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