‘It blasted me into space’: Intoxication and an ethics of pleasure

Zajdow, Grazyna
June 2010
Health Sociology Review;Jun2010, Vol. 19 Issue 2, p218
Academic Journal
O'Malley and Valverde point out that in the 21st century, pleasure is a warrantable motive for drug and alcohol use only when it is attached to the idea of moderation. This presents a problem for those researchers who wish to theorise about those individuals who use drugs deliberately to induce intoxication. This paper uses unconventional means to come to an understanding of intoxication. It uses the stories of interviewed former heroin addicts, published autobiographies, biographies and even some fictional accounts to come to an understanding of the difficulties of dealing with intoxication and the drug-using subject. It also uses the accounts that Michel Foucault gave about his own use of drugs and its relationship to an ethics of pleasure and resistance. The article uses theories of risk and edgework to understand the underlying meanings of intoxication to many drug users.


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