Nicholls J & Berridge V (2020) Substance use, dangerous classes and spaces: a historical perspective. In: MacGregor S & Thom B (eds.) Risk and Substance Abuse: Framing Dangerous People and Dangerous Places. Routledge Studies in the Sociology of Health and Illness. London: Routledge, pp. 14-29. https://www.routledge.com/Risk-and-Substance-Use-Framing-Dangerous-People-and-Dangerous-Places/MacGregor-Thom/p/book/9781138491243
This chapter sets out the argument that concerns over substance use are always inextricably tied to wider social attitudes to gender, class and race and are expressed through the regulation of public and private space. Taking examples from British history, it analyses how the construction of alcohol, opiates and tobacco as social and public health ‘problems’ relates to the framing of who uses the substances and where. It argues that this framing then shapes the control mechanisms that come to be established in response. Therefore, if we wish to understand how the control of substances operates, and why it takes the forms it does, we need to reflect on the historical contexts that these mechanisms reflect.