Drug dog affects: Accounting for the broad social, emotional and health impacts of general drug detection dog operations in Australia

Malins, P 2019, 'Drug dog affects: Accounting for the broad social, emotional and health impacts of general drug detection dog operations in Australia', International Journal of Drug Policy, vol. 67, pp. 63-71.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Drug dog affects: Accounting for the broad social, emotional and health impacts of general drug detection dog operations in Australia
Author(s) Malins, P
Year 2019
Journal name International Journal of Drug Policy
Volume number 67
Start page 63
End page 71
Total pages 9
Publisher Elsevier BV
Abstract Background: Drug detection dogs are increasingly being deployed by policing agencies in Australia and elsewhere to home in on people carrying illicit drugs in a broad range of social contexts including at music festivals, on public transport and in a range of everyday urban spaces. Significant concerns have been raised about their limited deterrence and detection efficacy and tendency to increase drug-related health harms including overdose. Yet the complex ways in which these effects play out, and the broader impacts they have on social and emotional wellbeing, are not yet well documented. This study builds on a growing body of poststructural critical drug studies research to explore the complex social, emotional and health impacts of drug dog use in these broad social contexts. Methods: Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 22 people who had been searched by drug detection dogs at or near music festivals and events, licensed venues and public transport spaces in Australia. Participants were asked about their experiences of being searched, how it impacted upon them in the short and long term, and how it shaped their drug use behaviours, sense of self and social relations, including relations with police. Results: This study supports previous findings that these drug dog operations do not tend to deter people from consuming illicit substances, but instead encourage a range of adaptations that increase the likelihood of health harms including overdose. The rationalities underpinning responses to drug dogs, and the impacts of those responses, are shown to be deeply spatial, temporal, social and embodied. More specifically, drug dog deployment is shown to have significant short and long term impacts on social and emotional wellbeing and can produce deep embodied trauma. Conclusion: These findings suggest that the use of drug dogs in these broad social contexts is based on untenable assumptions about the rationalities of deterrence, is producing substa
Subject Criminology not elsewhere classified
Philosophy not elsewhere classified
Crime Policy
Keyword(s) Drugs
Police
Sniffer dogs
Harm reduction
Festivals
Health
Trauma
Assemblages
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.03.004
Copyright notice © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
ISSN 0955-3959
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