Ebb and flow

Coffee has long been a staple in my daily routine. In fact, I am having one as I write this… I have also tried to reconcile myself with getting some work done in local cafes. I had given up on the idea a few years ago simply because it had become a bit too crowded and access to power outlets too rare… However, today is a perfect day for finding inspiration and writing outside… so here I am on a lovely terrace, taking in a little sun, surrounded by colourful flowers,  a warm breeze, and the hum of conversations nearby… the perfect conditions to reflect on my current projects…


These last few weeks I have been thinking about how our collective perspective on drug use – or medication use – is contingent on the particular sociopolitical context we are immersed in… this ebb and flow of moral sentiment toward drugs – prescribed or not – and the people who used them.

For example, amphetamines were thought to be a panacea of sorts during the 1930-50’s, used to treat various conditions ranging from depression to weight loss. Following a period of quasi ubiquitous use by the 1960’s, they went on to be all but eliminated from circulation by the 1970-80’s; users were tagged as speed freaks. Today, amphetamines are once again prescribed to – and used by – many. However, the moral tension between what is considered appropriate use and how they are called upon by individuals can weigh heavily at times…

Here is a post I came across on an online discussion forum:

Don’t Judge Me Please. Just Want Advice.

“Hey, I’m a student (…) attending university. Family pressures, society, friends so on and so forth is hitting me hard. I’m not depressed, I’m a very happy guy, it’s just people expect a lot from me and its sometimes overwhelming.

It’s finals week and i can’t afford to fail.

I picked up Adderall 20mg 2 pills, and a Vyvanse 30mg mainly for studying.

I don’t have ADHD, i know the risks, dangers, and consequences(…) Should i take it or not? Will i overdose? Will i die? (…) Will the adderall give me the extra concentration? (…)”

I also recognise myself in these words, in finding a balance between feeling fulfilled and easing the pressures of everyday… on this thought, I think I’ll finish my coffee, go for a run later, and enjoy the evening with a glass of wine.



Summer is for research: a report from the field


Montreal in the summer is uniquely beautiful, as in this photograph of the city landscape I took when crossing Jacques Cartier Bridge.

Summer is also the season for writing and getting research done before the start of the new academic school year, and for me it will be an especially busy one, as I am nearing the end of my doctoral studies. I am currently working on a peer-reviewed paper concerning netnography, which is the research method I am using, and its relevance for the public health field. I’ve also collected data by exploring online discussion fora that talk about psychostimulants. Interestingly, here are the top 10 words that come up on one particular forum:


How does this all fit together and inform my research objectives…? Arriving at an answer is another bridge to cover…