If you’re male, skint, unemployed and living precariously your drug use is more visible. Consequently most of what we know and see in the media in relation to drugs – imagine images of homeless “junkies” with needles strewn about the place – is based on this group.
Of course, there are some exceptions. We seem to reserve particularly harsh judgement and media exposure to young women, pregnant women and mothers that use drugs, but again these tend to be women who have the least in the way of status and resources.
It’s never been easier to get hold of illegal drugs. Illicit drug suppliers have proved adept at changing with the times. They have embraced the potential of social media as a way of advertising and distributing goods. As the internet is said to have democratised information it has also ensured that obtaining drugs in the most remote parts of the country is possible. You no longer have to rely on your social contacts to score.
Furthermore, successive governments have essentially left these criminal groups – however they operate – untouched. The state has effectively sub-contracted to them the supply and distribution of drugs, despite the fact they clearly operate to a different set of standards and ethics to legitimate businesses that are