Drug normalization and the case of Sweden

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In relation to drug use research the concept of normalization is most commonly connected to Parker and his colleagues' "drug normalization thesis". In their work the researchers lay down their account of what they see as a "cultural accommodation" of drug use. This recent conception of normalization has, however, not developed in a vacuum. As this article shows, normalization is a concept with a long history and various meanings and connotations. By drawing upon a wide-ranging normalization concept, this article explores the state of drug use in the Swedish normal population and to what extent we may speak of drug use as a normal or deviant part of contemporary Swedish society. The analysis shows that based on a comprehensive definition of normalization the current drug normalization debate may be expanded and it may push forward an improved understanding of drug use in a country like Sweden where drug normalization may at first sight seem irrelevant.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-480
Number of pages34
JournalContemporary Drug Problems
Issue number2/3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • DRUG abuse
  • SUBSTANCE abuse
  • DRUG control
  • SOCIAL perception
  • SOCIETAL reaction
  • drug use
  • Normalization
  • Sweden


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