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Durham University

Policy, Professions and Communities Research Group


Publication details for Professor Fiona Measham

Moore, K. & Measham, F. (2012). The Silent "G": A Case Study in the Production of "Drugs" and "Drug Problems. Contemporary Drug Problem 39(3): 565-590.

Author(s) from Durham


This article focuses on “G” in the United Kingdom (UK), G being the collective term for gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and gammabutyrolactone (GBL). Drawing on empirical data and taking a critical drug studies perspective, we use G as a case study in how drug cultures move through phases whereby a diffuse and contested network of emergent practices, agencies, and processes become progressively ordered into a more stable and conventional set of problems and actors, here G and the “G problem.” The production of former “legal high” G as a particular kind of drug in this network has shaped its relative neglect within UK research, policy, and practice as compared to mephedrone, another former legal high. Our case study supports the longstanding observation that researchers, policy makers and practitioners contribute to the performative and material constitution of “drugs” and “drug problems,” upon which we reflect in our conclusion.