Bring it on home: Home drug testing and the relocation of the war on drugs
Social and Legal Studies , Volume 10 - Issue 3 p. 377- 395
While the war on drugs is often claimed to have failed in multifarious ways, anti-drug strategies in the United States continue. The discourses through which anti-drug sentiments and policies are forwarded are, however, being reinvented in light of this failure, favoring an inclusionary and less state-centered disease trope for certain populations of drug users. In this article we argue that the privileging of the disease trope within anti-drug rhetoric facilitates the introduction of home drug testing as a means of 'state-free' drug regulation offered to specific populations. The advent of home drug testing is congruent with neoliberal trends towards mobilizing private entities like the family to engage in regulatory practices that were previously concerns of the state. A market for home drug testing has evolved out of rhetoric around private security, and the commodification of notions of safety. Home drug testing is theorized as a tool of surveillance that offers a very particular scientific gaze trained on the seemingly indefensible adolescent body. Teens, however, are not defenseless in this scheme. We document the concomitant rise of resistance technologies and tactics designed to assist teens and others to 'beat' the tests.