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Le sens des mesures. Usages et circulation des chiffres dans la définition du problème public des drogues au travail

Abstract : The significance of measures. Circulation and appropriation of numbers in the framing process of occupational drug use problem This article looks at the role of numbers and statistics in the framing process of occupational drug use problems in France. During this framing process, defined issues and conflicts over addiction (psychological vs. toxicological) approaches have divided authorities in the public space, who issue advisories and legal or ethical guidelines on the problem and who offer drug testing as a solution to address it. What is most notable is that the lack of expertise to identify and assess specific risks associated with occupational drug use leaves the knowledge field open for various pundits to pronounce statistics on the problem and publicly promote drug testing as a solution. Without claiming to be able to arbitrate between good and bad numbers, we characterize how rhetoric uses “fuzzy” figures to frame the public problem. To do so, we focus on three points. First, we insist on the role of European and French professional toxicology associations that run public awareness campaigns and lobby government to promote drug testing as a solution for the occupational drug use problem. Second, we analyse the effects of the rhetoric that spreads the use of specific figures in the media and political spaces. For numbers to support the existence of occupational risks associated with occupational drug use, we insist they have credibility and scientific robustness before public action is taken. Finally, in asking where these numbers come from, we try to set their limits for representing and measuring the scope of the problem.
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Submitted on : Thursday, May 11, 2017 - 12:03:34 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 27, 2021 - 3:54:42 PM

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Renaud Crespin. Le sens des mesures. Usages et circulation des chiffres dans la définition du problème public des drogues au travail. Psychotropes, De Boeck Supérieur, 2015, 21 (1), pp.35 - 54. ⟨hal-01520977⟩

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