|Titre :||Becoming a nitrous oxide user on social media: Learning to maximise pleasures and minimise harms (2022)|
|Auteurs :||S. J. MACLEAN ; O. RIDDELL ; M. D. HEROLD ; V. A. FRANK|
|Type de document :||Article : Périodique|
|Dans :||International Journal of Drug Policy (Vol.109, November 2022)|
|Article en page(s) :||art. 103861|
|Discipline :||SHS (Sciences humaines et sociales / Humanities and social sciences)|
Thésaurus TOXIBASEPROTOXYDE D'AZOTE ; INHALANTS ; RESEAUX SOCIAUX ; REDUCTION DES RISQUES ET DES DOMMAGES ; INFORMATION ; PLAISIR ; ETUDE QUALITATIVE ; EFFET RECHERCHE ; INHALATION
Background: In his classic work 'Becoming a marihuana user', Howard Becker (1953) showed how drug use learning occurred in social interactions and settings, which in turn shape drug use. Today, social media offers people opportunities to learn about drugs without physical proximity. In this paper, we identify nitrous oxide (N2O) users' key concerns about how to maximise pleasures and minimise harms, as expressed on the social media platform Reddit. In doing so, we consider what learning about N2O online might mean for the provision of drug education in an era of internet technology.
Method: Data are drawn from a Reddit page (subreddit) dedicated to N2O use. We undertook thematic analysis of 655 threads contributed in late-2020. The subreddit is conceptualised as an internet-mediated social world that constitutes drug user knowledges, practices and identities, rather than simply reflecting them.
Results: Our analysis uncovers practices not previously been reported in academic literature or health information on N2O, such as breathing techniques to maximise the effects and use of filters to reduce exposure to oil residue. While education resources often describe effects as 'mild', users recounted intense pleasures including euphoria, anaesthesia, sensory distortion, hallucination and epiphanies, especially when N2O was used with other drugs. Subreddit members were deeply concerned to minimise the risk of harms. Yet official health advice regarding N2O was not referenced, some misinterpretation of scientific literature was apparent and drug treatment was almost never suggested when people recounted harms.
Conclusion: In contrast to official health resources, the subreddit offers members practical advice on harm reduction. It provides opportunities for users of N2O to position themselves as playful, informed and caring curators of drug use pleasures. We highlight the need for those formulating drug education to engage with the knowledge, practices and identities that emerge within internet-mediated social worlds.
|Domaine :||Autres substances / Other substances|
|Affiliation :||Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia|