Two constructions of recreational pharmaceutical
Recent trends in the recreational use of pharmaceuticals among young adults in the United States highlight several issues regarding the problematization of drugs. Two constructions of recreational pharmaceutical use are analyzed. On the one hand, categorical frameworks based on epidemiological data are created by institutions and media and depict recreational pharmaceutical use as illicit in unqualified, absolute terms. This is done through discourses that equate non-medical pharmaceutical use with culturally established forms of illegal drug use. On the other hand, users’ multi-dimensional constructions of recreational pharmaceutical use emphasize social context, personal experience, and individual risk perceptions. The problematization of recreational pharmaceutical use points to intergenerational conflicts and struggles over definitions of “drug abuse” and “hard drugs”. It highlights the impact of pharmacy utilization on recreational drug use among young people.
Non-medical use of prescription drugs is becoming a significant threat around the world.
The non-medical use of pharmaceutical opioids is increasingly a concern for law enforcement authorities and public health professionals. Different pharmaceutical opioids are misused in different regions. In North America, illicitly sourced fentanyl, mixed with heroin or other drugs, is driving an unprecedented number of overdose deaths. The central opioid of concern in Europe remains heroin, but the non-medical use of methadone, buprenorphine, and fentanyl has also been reported. In countries in West and North Africa and the Near and Middle East, the non-medical use of tramadol, a pharmaceutical opioid not under international control, is emerging as a substance of concern.
The pharmaceutical market’s value is accelerating at a groundbreaking rate and is anticipated to exceed $1.1 trillion globally by 2021. (1) In an era of unprecedented innovation and profitability potential, several major trends are increasingly influencing the successes and competitive advantages that pharma companies can achieve over the next year. Three of these hot-button issues are highlighted below.