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Race, Industry and US Policy - Dr. Helena Hansen

Dr. Helena Hansen - Race, Industry and Policy in the US War on Drugs that Wasn't

CAMH Addiction Rounds November 3, 2017



Dr. Nikki Bozinoff interviews Dr. Hansen


Dr. Helena Hansen is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Anthropology at NYU School of Medicine in New York City, and a Staff Psychiatrist at Bellevue Hospital. She received her undergraduate degree at Harvard University, and her Ph.D. in Anthropology at Yale University (2005); she was enrolled in the Medical Scientist/MD-PhD Program at Yale School of Medicine and received her M.D. in 2005. She completed a Fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry at NYU Medical Center, and was the recipient of a K01 Career Development Award from NIDA, and research awards from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

For more, view a related article:

White opioids: Pharmaceutical race and the war on drugs that wasn’t
Julie Netherland and Helena Hansen

"The US ‘War on Drugs’ has had a profound role in reinforcing racial hierarchies. Although Black Americans are no more likely than Whites to use illicit drugs, they are 6–10 times more likely to be incarcerated for drug offenses. Meanwhile, a very different system for responding to the drug use of Whites has emerged. This article uses the recent history of White opioids – the synthetic opiates such as OxyContin® that gained notoriety starting in the 1990s in connection with epidemic prescription medication abuse among White, suburban and rural Americans and Suboxone® that came on the market as an addiction treatment in the 2000s – to show how American drug policy is racialized, using the lesser known lens of decriminalized White drugs. Examining four ‘technologies of whiteness’ (neuroscience, pharmaceutical technology, legislative innovation and marketing), we trace a separate system for categorizing and disciplining drug use among Whites."

For more on Dr. Hansen, visit her Yale profile page