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Drugs and the internet: challenges and opportunities

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Monica Barratt

on 3 May 2011

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Transcript of Drugs and the internet: challenges and opportunities

Refused classification Exploring the unintended consequences of the proposed internet filter for young Australians who use drugs Monica Barratt Acknowledgements Simon Lenton
Matthew Allen
All internet forum members and moderators
All expert reviewers and survey piloters
Funding: Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing and the National Drug Research Institute All images from flickr creative commons & pillreports
'man with laptop' by Brian Moore (CC)
'Nikon D700 HDR' by marcp_dmoz (CC)
pills from pillreports Drugs and the internet why should we care?
how can we think differently? Challenges Opportunities How are drug practices shaped by internet technologies? How is our response to drug practices shaped by internet technologies? Web vendors
Drug recipes
Positive stories
Harm? Access
Workforce Peer HR
Resilience Tackett-Gibson, M. (2008). Constructions of risk and harm in online discussions of ketamine use. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/16066350801983699 Duff, C. (2009). The drifting city: The role of affect and repair in the development of "enabling environments". http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2008.08.002 National Drug Strategy 2011 ‘The internet poses both challenges and opportunities for the National Drug Strategy. It is an efficient channel for information on illegal drug manufacture and use, and a difficult to regulate advertising medium for alcohol and tobacco. However, it also provides opportunities for providing information, and potentially treatment, to audiences who may not be reached through other media.’ (p. 12) Reimagining drugs/internet http://monicabarratt.net
@monicabarratt How are drug practices shaped by internet technologies? How do people who use drugs harness the internet to alter their drug practices? 1 Challenge? Opportunity Tool? Place Way of being Determinism? Socially situated Tool Place Way of being Summary Better info tool than friends Info not available elsewhere Moderators = expertise Peer-driven = credible Alternative online place Functions of online interaction social support
relief from anxiety
empowerment Negotiate meanings harm reduction
privileging pleasure Cyberspace Information Just part of everyday life? Social networks Merged versus separate Pre-existing networks seen as primarily beneficial
not just a tool
technology shapes but does not determine outcomes Beyond information seeking: Internet forums and party drugs public and interactive
messages are exchanged asynchronously
content is archived
compare with 'new/social media' psychostimulants and hallucinogens
used for recreational purposes
usually (but not always) low frequency
usually (but not always) low risk
club, dance and partying scenes Methodology mixed methods
qualitative drive
online survey (n = 837)
online interviews (n = 27)
participation/observation (n = 40) Last 12 month use of party drugs
Last 6 month online drug discussion
Resident in Australia
Median age 22 years; 71% male Survey sample (n = 837) Implications protecting? online places that offer alternative spaces
forums with established moderation systems assisting? shaping? but what if these very sites were blocked by the government? RC content includes "child abuse and child sexual abuse material, depictions of bestiality, material containing excessive violence or sexual violence, detailed instruction in crime, violence or drug use, and/or material that advocates the doing of a terrorist act."

? public to private regulated to unregulated increased harms decreased monitoring effects on demand? Unintended negative consequences? Proposed internet filter policy Blocks all refused classification (RC) content Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). (2011). Reporting illegal and offensive content on the internet. Archived at http://www.webcitation.org/5y1gaoBIZ Timeline PM reiterated support, Oct 2010
National Classification Scheme review by Australian Law Reform Commission underway: complete Jan 2012
Internet filter to be introduced 2013 Harm reduction sites likely to be blocked Lumby, C., Green, L., & Hartley, J. (2009). Untangling the net: The scope of content caught by mandatory internet filtering. http://www.saferinternetgroup.org/pdfs/lumby.pdf @AusLawReform
#clasrev For the future 'New technologies': New research priority latest social media and mobile technologies
Australian online drug monitoring systems
contribute to classification review
ground research in media studies and critical theory, as well as public health Any questions?
Ask me now... or later
@monicabarratt 3 2 Markham, A. N. (2003). Metaphors reflecting and shaping the reality of the Internet: Tool, place, way of being. http://markham.internetinquiry.org/writing/MarkhamTPW.pdf Fuchs, C. (2008). Internet and society: Social theory in the information age. http://fuchs.icts.sbg.ac.at/Internet+Society.pdf Recruitment: online engagement Barratt, M. J., & Lenton, S. (2010). Beyond recruitment? Participatory online research with people who use drugs. http://www.ijire.net/issue_3.1/6_barratt_lenton.pdf
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