Deconstructing the prohibitionist approach: a phenomenological existential understanding of drug abuse

Marcelo Sodelli About the author

The present article aims to deconstruct the Prohibitionist Model against drug abuse. Understanding Man as an unfinished being, always left to his own care, the study demonstrates the incompatibility of the Prohibitionist objectives with Man's unique way of being. We show that it is the very existential condition of Man that generates what we call "existential vulnerability", a condition that is impossible to be modified. In fact, we argue that any preventive approach whose fundamental principle is the eradication of drug abuse would be prone to failure. Based on this positioning, we reject the Prohibitionist view according to which "drug abuse" is always and invariably a deviant behavior (pathology). Finally, the study points to the importance of the development of a new preventive approach that fully absorbs the uniqueness of the human condition (existential vulnerability), definitely breaking with the prohibitionist precepts, in fact, the Harm Reduction Approach.

Drugs; Prevention; Phenomenology; Prohibitionism


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