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Drugs, Geography of

  • By: Stewart Williams
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Drugs comprise an array of chemical compounds that affect the human mind and body, and they occur in natural and synthetic, and licit and illicit forms. They are produced, exchanged, and consumed for numerous reasons, including for use in recreational and religious settings as well as medicinal purposes. Drugs and drug use are central to human health, welfare, and custom, and hold high cultural and economic value. At the same time, they can cause profound public health issues that often relate to drug abuse and dependence and also issues of criminalization. The geographies of drugs are therefore complex and contradictory. They operate at multiple scales that overlap and entwine, both linking and distancing people and places with and from each other, reaching through time as ...

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