1st Edition

Hooked on Heroin Drugs and Drifters in a Globalized World

By Philip Lalander Copyright 2003

    Alarmingly, heroin is growing in popularity amongst young people. This is despite the fact that it is - more than any other drug - associated with failure, death, misery and poverty. This book explores why people are tempted by heroin and how globalization has played a key role in increasing the number of abusers. Rather than offer lofty and abstract theories on addiction, the author grounds his study firmly in the day-to-day lives of heroin users themselves. Norrköping in Sweden is a mid-sized former industrial city like countless others throughout the world. It has suffered high unemployment as a result of its rapid decline as a hub of commerce. Once well known for housing the giant telecommunications company Ericsson, it sadly gains more notoriety today through its associations with heroin, which continues to be the drug of choice for Norrköping's young people. Through privileged access to users themselves, Lalander is able to show us the real motivations and lifestyle choices behind addiction. Personal testimonies candidly expose the underground activities of a thriving subculture and spark vexing questions as to why these young people choose to flirt with fatality. What media representations influence heroin users? Is this phenomenon the inevitable by-product of modern life? What are the root causes at play?Lalander's in-depth investigation overturns many of the stereotypes associated with heroin use. Accessible and gripping, Hooked on Heroin brings a disturbing reality closer to home and shows how global and local practices are intimately linked.

    1: Under the City's Shell; 2: Before Heroin; 3: The Secret Cave; 4: The Threats That Divide and Unite; 5: Doing Drugs with Honour and Style; 6: Who is Directing?; 7: The Subculture's Gender Code; 8: The Whole World Is Yours


    Philip Lalander Associate Professor of Sociology,SoRAD (Social Research of Alcohol and Drugs), Stockholm University Translated from the Swedish by Aisling O'Neill