Johan Edman, “The Swedish drug problem and the political use of common ground 1960-2000, “ in ON DRUGS: WHAT IS THE PROBLEM AND HOW DO WE PERCEIVE IT? POLICIES DRUGS IN NORDIC COUNTRIES (2015).


The project has examined drug consumption as a political problem and its ideological undertones. It is shown how drugs and drug consumption often have been subordinate in problem descriptions that have fulfilled other political purposes. Worries about politically radical youth, foreign religions or incomprehensible music have been understood as a drug problem. In the Swedish parliament the drug problem has been described in terms of capitalist class oppression, Americanism or cultural superficiality. Modernity, urbanization and industrialization have also been criticized in the name of the drug problem. In the treatment centres and within the ruling bureaucracy it was also elucidated that the drug problem was an ideological problem. The effective treatment method has been elusive, but the effective method has also played second fiddle in the choice of treatment solutions. Other values have been awarded, such as rural romanticism, Swedishness, solidarity and diligence. Individualism, Americanism and profit making have also been opposed within the ideological treatment sector. At the end of the research period such assessments however became subordinate to an overarching ideological quest to make substance abuse treatment a market among others.