DRUGS ACROSS CULTURES ESSAY QUESTIONS
1. A recent article published in the journal Nature argues that
sugar is as addictive as drugs and just as much of a public health
problem. Do you think sugar should be considered a drug? What
evidence can you provide to support your position based on
various models of addiction?
Lustig, R.H., L.A. Schmidt and C.D. Brindis, 2012. “Public Health: The
Toxic Truth About Sugar.” Nature 482: 27-29. Available online at http://
Eiser, R (1997) ‘Addiction as a dynamic process’, Addiction Research, 5(5):
Krivanek, J. (2000) Drug Misuse, Psychological Dependence and Addiction
(Chapter 6). In Understanding Drug Use: Key Issues. Sydney: WEF
Levine, H.G. (1978) ‘The Discovery of Addiction: Changing Conceptions of
Habitual Drunkenness in America’, Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 15:
493-506. (available online at http://www.soc.qc.edu/Staff/levine/doa.htm)
Peele, S. (1999) ‘Why Addiction is Not a Disease’. In The Diseasing of
America. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, pp. 1-30.
Peele, S & R.J. Degrandpre (1998) ‘Cocaine and the Concept of Addiction:
Environmental Factors in Drug Compulsions’, Addiction Research, 6(3):
Reinarman, C. (2005) ‘Addiction as Accomplishment: the Discursive
Construction of Disease’, Addiction Research & Theory, 13(4): 307-320.
Robson, P. (1994) ‘Why use Drugs?’ In Forbidden Drugs: Understanding
Drugs and Why People Take Them. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.
Room, R. (2003) ‘The Cultural Framing of Addiction’, Janus Head, 6(2):
221-234. (available online at http://www.janushead.org/6-2/Room.pdf)
Valverde, Mariana (1998) ‘Introduction’. In Diseases of the Will: Alcohol
and the Dilemmas of Freedom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
2. According to Zinberg (1984: 6) “Social controls apply to the use
of all drugs”. Discuss these social controls and the ways in which
they function to minimise harm amongst drug users in Western
and non-Western societies.
Agar, M.H. (1977) ‘Into that Whole Ritual Thing: Ritualist Drug Use Among
Urban American Heroin Addicts’. In B.M. Du Toit (ed) Drugs, Rituals and
Altered States of Consciousness. Rotterdam: Balkema, pp. 137-148.
Dobkin de Rios, M. (1972) ‘Ayahuasca Healing Sessions’. In Visionary Vine:
Hallucinogenic Healing in the Peruvian Amazon. Prospect Heights:
Waveland Press, pp. 99-116.
Grund, J-P, C.D. Kaplan & M DeVries (1993) ‘Rituals of Regulation:
Controlled and Uncontolled Drug Use in Natural Settings’. In N Heather et
al (eds), Psychoactive Drugs and Harm Reduction: From Faith to Science,
London: Whurr Publishers, pp. 77-90.
Moore, D. (1993) ‘Beyond Zinberg’s ‘Social Setting’: a Processual View of
Illicit Drug Use’, Drug and Alcohol Review, 12: 413-421.
Moore, D. (1993) ‘Social Controls, Harm Minimisation and Interactive
Outreach: the Public Health Implications of an ethnography of Drug
Use’, Australian Journal of Public Health, 17(1): 58-67.
Harding, W.M. & N.E. Zinberg (1977) ‘The Effectiveness of the Sub-culture
in Developing Rituals and Social Sanctions for Controlled Drug Use’. In B.M.
Du Toit (ed) Drugs, Rituals and Altered States of Consciousness.
Rotterdam: Balkema, pp. 111-133.
Sansom, B. (1980) ‘A Style For Grogging’. In The Camp at Wallaby Cross.
Canberra: Australian Institute for Aboriginal Studies.
Weil, A. (1973) ‘Clues from the Amazon’. In The Nature of Mind, Jonathon
Cape: London, pp. 98-115.
Zinberg, N.E. (1984) ‘Historical Perspectives on Controlled Drug Use’.
In Drug, Set and Setting: the Basis for Controlled Intoxicant Use. Yale
University Press, pp. 1-18.
3. Should cannabis be legalised in Australia? Your response
should provide a considered discussion of the advantages and
disadvantages of both legalisation and criminalisation which
shows evidence of wide and varied reading.
Dennis, M.L. & W White (1999) ‘The Marijuana Legalization Debate: is
There a Middle Ground’. In JA Inciardi (ed),The Drug Legalization Debate.
Ferguson, D.M.. & L.J. Horwood (2000) ‘Does Cannabis Use Encourage
Other Forms of Illicit Drug Use?’, Addiction, 95(4): 505-520.
Gerber, R.J. (2004) ‘History of Demonizing Drugs’. In Legalizing Marijuana:
Drug Policy Reform and Prohibition Politics, Westport, CT: Praeger, pp.
Hall, W. (1997) ‘The Recent Australian Debate About the Prohibition on
Cannabis Use’, Addiction, 92(9): 1109-1115.
Hall, W. (1998) ‘Cannabis Use and Psychosis’, Drug and Alcohol Review,
Hall, W. & R.L. Pacula (2003) ‘Policy Alternatives’. In Cannabis Use and
Dependence: Public Health and Public Policy, Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, pp. 183-226.
Himmelstein, J.L. (1983) ‘From Killer Weed to Drop Out
Drug’, Contemporary Crises, 7(1): 13-38.
Sarre, R. (1990) ‘A Review of the Cannabis Expiation Notice Scheme in
South Australia: Research Note’, Australian and New Zealand Journal of
MacCoun R.J. and P. Reuter Drug War ‘Heresies: Learning from Other Vices,
Times, & Places’, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
McGeorge, J. & C.K. Aitken (1997) ‘Effects of Cannabis Decriminalization in
the Australian Capital Territory on University Students’ Patterns of
Use, Journal of Drug Issues, 27(4): 785-794.
4. Assess the impact of United Nations alternative development
programmes in relation to the reduction of illicit crop cultivation
and the viability of crop substitution and other forms of alternative
Cohen, P.T. (2006) ‘Help as a threat: Alternative development and the ‘war
on drugs’ in Bolivia and Laos’ Development Bulletin (Development Studies
Network, ANU) No.69, Feb.
Farrell, G. (1998) ‘A global empirical view of drug crop eradication and
United Nations crop substitution and alternative development
strategies’ Journal of Drug Issues 28(2): 395-436.
Hellin, J. (2000) ‘Coca eradication in the Andes: Lessons from Bolivia’
m Capitalism, Nature, Socialism 12 (June):139-158.
Leons, M.B. and H.Sanabria eds (1997) Coca, Cocaine and the Bolivian
Reality, State University of New York Press (several papers in this volume
are relevant, in particular those by Leons and Sanabria).
Renard, R.D. (2001) Opium Reduction in Thailand 1970-2000, UNDCP,
Silkworm Books, Chiang Mai.
Thoumi, F.E. (2002) ‘The profitability of illicit crops and alternative
development’. Paper prepared for the International Conference on
Alternative Development in Drug Control and Cooperation, Feldafing, Jan.
UNODC (2001) Alternative Development in the Andean Area –The UNDCP
5. How have illicit drugs become symbolic scapegoats in wider
social conflicts? Discuss with reference to at least two countries.
Aurin, M. (2000) ‘Chasing the Dragon: the Cultural Metamorphosis of
Opium in the United States, 1825-1935,Medical Anthropology Quarterly,
Brady, M. (1990) ‘Indigenous and government attempts to control
alcohol’. Contemporary Drug Problems vol. 17(2).
Burr, A. (1984) ‘The Ideologies of Despair: a Symbolic Interpretation of
Punks and Skinheads’ Usage of Barbiturates,Social Science &
Medicine, 19(9): 929-938.
Dikkotter, F., L. Laamann & Z. Xun (2002) ‘Narcotic Culture: A Social
History of Drug Consumption in China’, British Journal of
Criminology, 42(2): 317-336.
Hoffman, J. (1990) ‘The Historical Shift in the Perception of Opiates: From
Medicine to Social Menace.’ Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 22:53-62.
Himmelstein, J.L. (1983) ‘From Killer Weed to Drop Out
Drug’, Contemporary Crises, 7(1): 13-38.
Manderson, D. (1995) ‘Metamorphoses: Clashing Symbols in the Social
Construction of Drugs’, The Journal of Drug Issues, 25(4): 799-816.
Manderson, D (2005). ‘Possessed: drug policy, witchcraft and
belief.’ Cultural Studies, 19(1):35-62.
Montagne, M. (1988) The Metaphorical Nature of Drugs and Drug
Taking, Social Science & Medicine, 26(4): 417-424.
Weimer, D. (2003) Drugs-as-a-Disease: Heroin, Metaphors, and Identity in
Nixon’s Drug War, Janus Head, 6(2): 260-281.
6. What are the basic assumptions about sexuality, health
decision-making, and the doctor-patient relationship that inform
the positions of opponents and proponents of emergency
Calabretto H, 2009. “Emergency contraception – knowledge and attitudes
in a group of Australian university students. Australian and New Zealand
Journal of Public Health. 33(3): 234-239
Calabretto H, Galloway E, 2004. “Emergency contraception – issues of
deregulation.” Australian Pharmacist 23(1) Jan: 46-52
Cantor J and K Baum, 2005. “The limits of conscientious objection – May
pharmacists refuse to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception?” New
England Journal of Medicine 51:2008-2012.
Davidoff F, Trussell J., 2006. “Plan B and the politics of doubt.” Journal of
the American Medical Association 296:1775-1778.
Drazen J, Greene M, Wood A., 2004. “The FDA, politics, and Plan B.” New
England Journal of Medicine 350:1561-1562.
Ellertson C, Trussell J, Stewart F, Winikoff B., 1998. “Should emergency
contraceptive pills be available without prescription?” Journal of the
American Women’s Association 53:226-229, 232.
Harrison T., 2005. “Availability of emergency contraception: a survey of
hospital emergency department staff.”Annals of Emergency
Marston C, Meltzer H, Majeed A, 2005. “Impact on contraceptive practice of
making emergency hormonal contraception available over the counter in
Great Britain: repeated cross sectional surveys.” British Medical
Steinbrook R. “Waiting for Plan B – The FDA and Nonprescription Use of
Emergency Contraception.” New England Journal of
Wynn, L.L., Joanna Erdman, Angel Foster, and James Trussell, 2007. “An
Ethics of Accountability in Debates over Access to Emergency Contraceptive
Pills in the US and Canada.” Studies in Family Planning 38(4):253-267.
Wynn, L.L. and James Trussell, 2006. “Images of American Sexuality in
Debates over Nonprescription Access to Emergency Contraceptive
Pills.” Obstetrics and Gynecology 108(5):1272-1276.
Wynn, L.L. and James Trussell, 2006. “The Social Life of Emergency
Contraception in the United States: Disciplining Pharmaceutical Use,
Disciplining Women’s Sexuality, and Constructing Zygotic Bodies.” Medical
Anthropology Quarterly 20(3): 297-320.
7. Can drugs such as cannabis, opium and hallucinogens expand
human consciousness and contribute to artistic creativity? If so, do
the benefits outweigh the costs?
Booth, M. (1996) ‘Pleasure Domes in Xanadu’. In Opium: a History,
London: Simon, & Schuster.
Carpenter, L (2001) ‘Enhancing the Possibilities of Desire: Addiction as
Postmodern Trope'(Opium, Heroin, and the Novelists of the Romantic
Imagination), Southern Humanities Review, 35 (3): 228-251.
Hayter, A. (1968) ‘Case Studies’. In Opium and the Romantic
Imagination. London: Faber, pp. 36-66.
Hodgson, B (1999) ‘The Writer’s Muse’. In Opium: a Portrait o the
Heavenly Demon. San Francisco: Chronicle books, p. 83-103.
Huxley, A (1972) ‘The Doors of Perception’. In The Doors of Perception and
Heaven & Hell. London: Chatto & Windus, pp. 5-20.
Lee, M.A. (1992) ‘Psychadelic Pioneers’. In Acid Dreams. New York: Grove
Weidenfeld, pp. 44-70.
Levinson, M.H. (2002) ‘The Quest for Instant Enlightenment: Drugs and
Literary Creativity’. In The Drug Problem: A New View Using the General
Semantics Approach, Westport, CT: London, Praeger.
Plant, S. (2000) ‘Private Eyes’. In Writing on Drugs. New York: Farrar,
Straus & Giroux, pp. 3-32.
Burroughs, W.S. (1970) ‘Points of Distinction Between Sedative and
Consciousness-Expanding Drugs. In D Solomon (ed), The Marijuana Papers.
Book Two: An Examination of Marijuana in Society, History and Literature.
London: Panther, pp. 428-434.