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Pusher Myths: Re-situating the Drug Dealer

: Coomber, Roger.

Drug dealers are commonly presented as ‘dealing in death’, preying on the young and innocent and spreading addiction with little care or regard for those they entangle. Drug markets are commonly depicted as being hierarchically organized and riddled with unscrupulous practices and chaotic violence. While a strong case has been made in recent years that the powers of particular drugs have often led to an unreasonable demonization of drug users, there has been little by way of understanding drug dealers as part of that same process. Who is a drug dealer? How does the dealer operate in the drug market? What if many common perceptions, both about dealers themselves and drug markets more generally, are either incorrect or unreasonably distorted? Reviewing recent research into the minutiae of drug dealing and drug market operations, Roger Coomber’s Pusher Myths suggests that these overly simplistic characterizations of who the drug dealer is, what drug dealers do, and the context within which they operate serve to perpetuate unhelpful ideas of what the drug problem is and, thus ultimately, how it should be resolved. Focusing on issues such as dangerous drug adulteration, the pushing of street drugs onto the young and innocent, the provision of free drugs to hook new clients, and the legend of the Blue Star LSD Tattoo, this book goes in the direction of recasting our understanding of the drug dealer as one that has been unreasonably demonized and de-humanized. This book also provides a contemporary analysis of how the various myths (untruths) surrounding drug dealers may be understood within the broader conceptual analysis of the place of myth in modern society. Read more…

Understanding Problem Gamblers

: Bellringer, Paul.

Gambling has recently become a major mainstream leisure activity. For most people it is an enjoyable, exciting entertainment, but for a minority it becomes a destructive dependency. This practical book is designed for those involved with a problem gambler, such as clients, partners or family members. The author, Paul Bellringer, explores some of the motivations and attractions of gambling; discusses the transition from social to problem gambling, and how gambling dependency develops; describes strategies for breaking through the barrier of denial; and explores relapse prevention and the vital role of helping agencies. Read more…

Counselling Heroin and Other Drug Users

: Lockley, Paul.

Paul Lockley’s book aligns theory with practice. It has been written by a drug counsellor but has also been informed by the contributions of drug users, ex-users, their partners and families. It is comprehensive in its coverage of drug, their effects, methods of usage, the drugs sub-culture, and personal and social attitudes to drugs. Providing as step-step guide to counselling which is fundamentally based on realism and what can be achieved, it never loses sight of its first premise that it is the drugs user who must decide for him or herself if, when and how to come off drugs. Read more…

Weed, Need and Greed

: Potter, Gary R

The author, Gary Potter, explores who is involved in cannabis growing. At a basic level features – demographic and ‘ideological’ – common to most cannabis growers (although varying by national and local social cultural and legal contexts) are considered. At a deeper level a typology of cannabis growers is offered based predominantly on motivation and ideology, and accommodating international variations. Although a large number of cannabis growers seek no financial reward whatsoever for their involvement in what is essentially an act of drug trafficking, others are financially motivated, though both are equally motivated by non-financial ‘drivers’. Read more…

Creativity and Perversion

: Chasseguet-Smirgel, Janine

This is the best single account of the psychoanalysis of creativity, pseudo-creativity and the perverse mind. The author, Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel, explores art, film and literature to show the relations between true creativity and the artful universe of the pervert. Read more…