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NCJ Number: 170650 Find in a Library
Title: Crack Attack: Politics and Media in the Crack Scare (From Crack in America: Demon Drugs and Social Justice, P 18-51, 1997, Craig Reinarman and Harry G Levine, eds. - See NCJ-170648)
Author(s): C Reinarman; H G Levine
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 34
Sponsoring Agency: University of California Press
Berkeley, CA 94720
Sale Source: University of California Press
2120 Berkely Way
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The authors believe that "drug scares" do not work very well in reducing drug problems and in fact may promote the behavior they claim to be preventing and that antidrug campaigns in the United States may have actually increased drug-related harm.
Abstract: The crack scare began in 1986, and stories about the crack epidemic appeared regularly in newspapers and on television. In addition, politicians promoted the war on drugs, voting for new antidrug laws with long mandatory prison terms. The focus on the crack scare, however, distorted public knowledge and policies, particularly since the claim that crack was threatening every neighborhood in America was not based on evidence. Although the crack scare began to decline in 1992, the drug war started by the media and politicians remained institutionalized. Evidence used by journalists and politicians to support claims about the prevalence of crack comes primarily from the Drug Abuse Warning Network and surveys sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Such evidence, however, suggests journalists and politicians have routinely referred to the crack epidemic in terms of warning, alarm, and danger and have not proven the legitimacy of viewing crack addiction as an epidemic. The political context of the drug problem and the impact of rightist ideology and political party competition are discussed. Public health and social approaches are recommended to deal with the drug problem. 61 references, 10 notes, and 3 figures
Main Term(s): Drug abuse
Index Term(s): Crack; Drug dependence; Drug law enforcement; Drug Policy; Drug regulation; Drug use; Media coverage; Political influences; Television programming
Note: DCC
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