It's only words : the crystal meth dilemma
Gauley, Margaret Jean
Crystal meth has been an illicit drug for many years but did not surface as a problem until the 1990s. Between 200 and 2006, a number of provincial documents were produced in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan to examine this problem. A shift appeared to have occurred in terms of how to handle this situation. Traditionally, illicit drugs such as crystal meth were dealt with by the criminal justice system; however, in this case, provincial health departments prepared these documents. The intent of this thesis is to examine these documents by providing a discourse analysis and applying concepts from Foucault, vanDijk and Phillips and Hardy. Three questions are asked: (i) who are the voices of these documents? (ii) who is identified as being at risk? and (iii) how is crystal meth socially constructed and what solutions are presented? All three provinces identify the same at risk population, our youth. British Columbia and Saskatchewan construct crystal meth as an educational and health problem, while Alberta focuses mainly on crystal meth as being a criminal problem. This research concludes that the solutions offered by the various experts from these provinces are unrealistic. The social determinants of health such as adequate income, housing and employment opportunities are discussed in these provincial documents however, nothing concrete is provided. Saskatchewan is the only province to commit money to finance new programs to assist with the crystal meth problem.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)