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ASBO nationThe criminalisation of nuisance$
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Peter Squires

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781847420282

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847420282.001.0001

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date: 20 August 2017

The criminalisation of intoxication1

The criminalisation of intoxication1

Chapter:
(p.273) Fifteen The criminalisation of intoxication1
Source:
ASBO nation
Author(s):

Fiona Measham

Karenza Moore

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847420282.003.0016

At the heart of British drug policy lies a prohibitionist stance that prioritises the relationship between drugs and crime, resulting in both increased medicalisation based on outdated notions of addiction and compulsion, and increased criminalisation dominated by ‘war on drugs’ and ‘law and order’ discourses. This chapter looks at a new wave of proactive prohibition of pharmacological intoxication, bolstering an enduring ‘official’ ambivalence to leisure, pleasure and intoxication. It considers four aspects of this new wave of criminalisation: first, the extension of the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act to criminalise emergent drugs used for recreational purposes; second, changes to the burden of proof regarding drug supply offences; third, the increased regulation of young-adult drunkenness and drink-related disorder; and, fourth, the continued rejection by the British government of repeated calls to overhaul the drug classification system. The chapter argues that young people's involvement in vibrant and diverse local leisure ‘scenes’ provides the target for a new wave of stigmatisation and criminalisation of contemporary cultures of intoxication, at odds with official policy supporting the expansion of the night-time economy.

Keywords:   drugs, crime, medicalisation, addiction, compulsion, criminalisation, leisure, pleasure, intoxication, young people

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