Pusher Myths

Re-Situating the Drug Dealer

By Ross Coomber

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, 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.

207 pages

Publication Date: 5/1/2006
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781853439483