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Narratives of Starting, Using, and Stopping Methamphetamine Use

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thesis
posted on 07.12.2021, 07:21 by Dance, John

Methamphetamine use has come to be seen as a significant policy issue in New Zealand and elsewhere. Panic about methamphetamine’s effects, the increasing prevalence of its use and its alleged potential to cause more harm than other drugs has been fundamental in elevating public concern and initiating a raft of law and order responses. Using the familiar tropes of addiction and drug-induced criminality, authoritative discourses conveying the nature of the ‘meth problem’ have obfuscated the social, cultural and structural forces which intersect decisions about drug use. Instead, explanations of meth-use anchored to behavioural theories about risk have emphasised drug-use is as being the product of individualised cognitive decision making. In taking a narrative approach to analyse 17 drug-users’ stories about starting, using and stopping methamphetamine use, this thesis sets out to theoretically engage with the experiential and contextual nuances of drug-taking decisions which continue to be excluded from authoritative accounts of problematic use. In doing so this thesis reveals how decisions about starting and using methamphetamine had occurred within established trajectories of problematic poly-drug taking behaviour. Collectively, the experiences of starting, using and stopping methamphetamine use storied by this sample of drug users help challenge pejorative constructions of problematic users of drugs as being wilfully self-destructive by highlighting that “risk actions are rarely the product of any one individuals’ rational decisions”(Rhodes: 1997:216).

History

Copyright Date

01/01/2018

Date of Award

01/01/2018

Publisher

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Criminology

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level

Doctoral

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Victoria University of Wellington Unit

Institute of Criminology

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

3 APPLIED RESEARCH

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis

Language

en_NZ

Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Social and Cultural Studies

Advisors

Hutton, Fiona