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NCJ Number: 157039 Find in a Library
Title: Rhetoric in the War on Drugs: The Triumphs and Tragedies of Public Relations
Author(s): W N Elwood
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 182
Sponsoring Agency: Praeger Publishers
Westport, CT 06881
Publication Number: ISBN 0-275-94709-2
Sale Source: Praeger Publishers
88 Post Road West
Westport, CT 06881
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The war on drugs is explored.
Abstract: This book, according to its author, is based on the premise that there are human problems that involve legal and illegal drugs in the United States and that mass- mediated rhetoric about these problems precludes their resolutions. He argues that the public conversation about drugs is part of the drug problem; that the war on drugs is a rhetorical, multifaceted public relations campaign designed to enhance the images of specific political figures and to absolve the Federal Government of responsibility for resolving problems involved with drug addictions and trade. This is occurring even as government representatives claim responsibility for resolving the drug problem by declaring war and proposing policies designed to ameliorate the situation. The author points out that the one voice that is consistently absent in the rhetoric of the war on drugs is the voice of the drug addict. The author obtained transcripts of interviews with out-of-treatment chronic illegal drug users who participated in an ongoing project sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. An analysis of these transcripts led the author to conclude that not only are chronic illegal drug users used as scapegoats in the public relations campaign, but also the campaign uses rhetoric to disenfranchise them from other citizens and from detoxification programs many would like to enter, but few can afford. Elements to be included in the dialogue regarding drugs are suggested. Notes follow each chapter. A bibliography and index are included.
Main Term(s): Controlled Substances
Index Term(s): Drug law enforcement; Media coverage; Public relations programs
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