The threat of pain relief: drugs in Australia and the cultural neuromatrix

Seminar/Forum

The threat of pain relief: drugs in Australia and the cultural neuromatrix

States of the Nation seminar series

Interdisciplinary discussions on research important to contemporary Australia, and Australia’s relations to the region and the world.

Threats abound for governments who ignore the dynamics of demand for pain relieving drugs. North America has experienced waves of both legal and illegal opioid epidemics. Australia is now experiencing heightened problems with heroin and some prescribed pain relievers. In 2018 Australia’s therapeutic goods administration restricted access to over the counter codeine.

This paper explores the demand for pain relief. Numerous stories are told about demand: ranging from life headaches to rampant addiction to social malaise in regional Australia. This paper will propose an alternative way to approach the demand for pain relief using a cultural extension of the medical metaphor of the neuromatrix.

All welcome, lunch provided, no bookings required.

Presenter

  • Associate Professor John Fitzgerald