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NCJ Number: 168405 Find in a Library
Title: "Ice Age": The Social Construction of a Drug Panic (From Drug Use and Drug Policy, P 153-177, 1997, Marilyn McShane, Frank P. Williams, III, eds. - See NCJ-168395)
Author(s): P Jenkins
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 25
Sponsoring Agency: Garland Publishing, Inc.
New York, NY 10003-3304
Sale Source: Garland Publishing, Inc.
19 Union Square
West Floor 8
New York, NY 10003-3304
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article explores the rhetorical devices used to create a sense of impending menace around a supposed danger, a "drug panic," and the reasons why such an apparently plausible danger fails to gain more public attention or credence.
Abstract: Research in illicit drugs has often emphasized the disparity between the perceived threat of a substance and the actual social harm involved. In 1989 and 1990 there was much media and political concern about use of the drug "ice," or smokable crystal methamphetamine, which was believed to pose a social threat potentially as great as that of crack cocaine. This concern was not sustained, however, and references to the topic diminished sharply within a few months. The incident offers a valuable opportunity to trace the history of a drug panic from its origins to its eclipse. This article places particular emphasis on the role of domestic political divisions, especially in Hawaii, in citing the panic; the terms "epidemic" and "explosion" emerged from partisan and bureaucratic rivalries within that state. The incident illustrates both the manner in which local problems come to be projected onto the national political scene and the limitations inherent in such a process. Table, references
Main Term(s): Controlled Substances
Index Term(s): Amphetamines; Designer drugs; Hawaii; Media coverage; Media support; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Public relations programs; Rumor control; Social psychology
Note: DCC
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