Graduate students publish research on novel drugs
Working with Drs. Bryan Miller and Laura Agnich, as well as colleagues Dr. John Stogner and Amber Sanders at UNC-Charlotte, M.A.S.S. graduate students Shanna Felix and Joseph Bacot have had their article “Marketing a Panic: Media Coverage of Novel Psychoactive Drugs (NPDs) and its Relationship with Legal Changes” accepted in the American Journal of Criminal Justice.
Focusing on four commonly discussed novel drugs (salvia, bath salts, synthetic cannabinoids, and purple drank), the authors attempted to determine if recent social and legal responses were more the result of media driven panics rather than these substance’s actual harms and usage rates. Employing a content analysis of a representative sample of print media articles published between January 1, 2005 and July 1, 2013 in 26 major news outlets across the nation, coverage over time, the main foci of the articles, the implied association between NPD use and specific demographic groups (including celebrities), and the association of NPDs with bizarre and deviant behavior were examined using a moral panics framework.