CDP-2012-39-1-07-Housborg, The Political Pharmacology of Methadone and Heroin in Danish Drug Policy
This article uses the concept of “political pharmacology” to show
that drugs are complex and mutable entities, the constitution of
which is as much a political (power) issue as it is a technical one.
The article analyzes the negotiations and struggles that have been
involved in the constitution of methadone and heroin as
maintenance drugs in Denmark. Danish drug policy on medicalmaintenance
treatment was for many years dominated by a medicoadministrative
technocracy. But from the mid-1990s, this
technocracy, and the way it defined maintenance treatment and
maintenance drugs, was challenged by drug users and other actors.
They were, among other things, dissatisfied with the medical
constitution of maintenance drugs as “stabilizing medications”
and demanded that the drugs should also be allowed to function
as “intoxicating substances.”