Pharmacological routes to everyday exceptionality.
2015-04-16T08:41:32Z (GMT) by
In a modern era of speed, uncertainty, pleasure and anguish, the boundaries between pharmacologically healing and enhancing the mind are being redefined [Pieters, T., and S. Snelders. 2009. “Psychropic Drug Use: Between Healing and Enhancing the Mind.” Neuroethics 2 (2): 63–73]. Whether smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and coffee, or taking illicit drugs, some degree of intoxication is an everyday practice for many [Bancroft, A. 2009. Drugs, Intoxication & Society. Cambridge: Polity Press]. Despite this ‘normalization’ of even illicit drug taking, normative political and managerial literatures both homogenize and demonize drug taking, discursively constituting an undifferentiated ‘drug user’ who is presumed unable to take drugs and work effectively. This paper suggests an alternate articulation of the relationship between drugs, work and everyday life. Analysing interviews with self-identifying drug using creative and knowledge workers, as well as reportage on prescription drug ‘misuse’, we argue that some drug use is increasingly being positioned within, rather than against, a managerialist performative ethos concerned with the enhancement of both the physical and cognitive aspects of everyday working lives.