Drug Use in Perspective There are more people who use legal drugs than illegal drugs. 125 million Americans drink alcohol. 62 million Americans smoke cigarettes. 20 million Americans use illegal drugs. Each year, two legal drugs (alcohol and cigarettes) combined kill at least 60 times more people than all the illegal drugs combined.
Illegal Drugs: Their Effects and Users Types of drugs are separated into 3 categories in accordance to their effect on the central nervous system. Stimulants (stimulate activity of the CNS and produce alertness) Depressants (reduce activity of the CNS and cause relaxation) Hallucinogens (disturbs the CNS and alters perception of reality) Marijuana is in a class by itself because it can cause the user to react in ways that could be considered be similar to any of the three types of drugs. Certain factors influence the effect of the drug on the user. 1) Dosage 2) Purity/potency 3) Drug mixing 4) Method of administration
Marijuana Most used illegal drug in the U.S. Short term effects include: Memory Loss Anxiety Increased heart rate Long term effects include: Cancer Respiratory diseases Heart problems Withdrawal symptoms are: Mild nausea Restlessness Loss of appetite Believed to be the “gateway” to harder drugs Used in some states for medical purposes
Heroin Can be smoked, sniffed through the nose, taken orally, or injected into the skin, muscle, or vein A psychological dependence can easily be developed because of the “rush” users experience. Also very physically addictive Withdrawal symptoms include: Profuse sweating Running nose Watering Eyes Chills Cramps Nausea Diarrhea A user must keep using in order to relieve withdrawal symptoms.
Cocaine Effects of this drug are: Provides a sense of elation and well-being Enhances self-confidence, supplies a sense of mastery and competence at whatever the user is doing Increases energy and suppresses fatigue, enabling the user to continue mental and/or physical activity longer and more intensely Physical effects are increased heartbeat and raised body temp and blood pressure Physically addictive and withdrawal symptoms included exhaustion and stomach cramps Extremely psychologically addictive due to the high quality of pleasures the user derives from it The “coming down” process cause such gloom that the only remedy is to use more cocaine. The most expensive drug and a status symbol of wealth and used primarily by affluent whites.
Crack Crack cocaine is the less pure and cheaper form of cocaine Users of “crack” are often younger and poorer More addictive and dangerous than cocaine; the National Institute on Drug Abuse states that crack addiction develops in only 6-10 weeks Can be extremely dangerous if taken in large doses or used frequently over an extended period of time and can cause: Insomnia Impotence Extreme irritability Paranoia Symptoms of psychosis Sensation of bugs crawling under the skin *OVERDOSE can cause severe headaches, nausea, and convulsions with the possibility of the total respiratory and cardiovascular system to collapse
Methamphetamine Relatively cheap and very available Used to be known as “poor man’s cocaine” and popular among white men in the working class, ages 18 to 34, but currently has spread to men and women of all classes Easily made from cold medicines like Sudafed, so congress passed the Combat Methamphetamine Act, which required them to be purchased from behind the counter in pharmacies When initially used, suppresses appetite, causes euphoria, boosts self-confidence, and energy…but after a tolerance is developed, it causes depression and intense paranoia.
Related to the sedative Valium but 10 times stronger Actually a prescription drug for severe insomnia Also known as “the date-rape drug” after men began using it on women to make them blackout and rape them Besides memory loss and blackouts, it can cause aggression, fearlessness, addiction, and/or lethal overdoses. Sometimes combined with alcohol to produce a quick high Rohypnol (Roofies)
Ecstasy Chemical name: methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) Popular amongst high school and college students as well as affluent young adults Often taken at a dance club or party Mood-altering, psychedelic drug that causes a strong desire for human connection A single dose can cause brain damage Causes the body to overheat; if people who use it do not take in enough water, they may suffer from dehydration, organ failure, or brain damage….drinking too much water can cause death from thinning out the blood as well.
Social Dimensions of Drug Use Drug use is not an individual behavior….it is a social behavior! Many drug users are involved and it doesn’t affect just the individual, it affects the entire society! Four social dimensions of drug use: The extent of drug use in the United States How U.S. society reacts to drug use The impact of drug use on the spread of AIDS The influence of drug use on crime
The Extent of Drug Use Young adults ages 18 to 25 have the highest rate of drug use and teenagers ages 12 to 17 have the second highest The United States has the highest rate of drug use in the world Most drug problems, such as drug addiction, death from overdose, and drug-related homicides are more common in lower-classes Table 11.1 Users of Drugs in 2006:
Drugs and AIDS Intravenous injection of illegal drugs can spread HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, from one user to another. Most drug users with AIDS are heroin users and caught the disease by sharing needles with other addicts. Of all AIDS cases in the United States, 30% resulted from drug use, and even higher in some cities, such as: New York City- 40% Newark- 65%
Drugs and Crime Almost half of people arrested for crimes in the United States used illegal drugs within three days of committing the crime. Studies have shown that drug users are 3 to 4 times more likely to commit a crime when compared with nonusers. Drug Enslavement Theory: “drug users are forced into a life of crime because they cannot pay for their prohibitively expensive drug habits unless they rob or steal the money to get their next fix” “Users living in poverty, have inadequate education, lack job skills, face racial discrimination, and/or suffer other social disadvantages because they are relatively poor, uneducated, and economically unskilled” General Deviance Syndrome Theory: drug users who are criminals continuing deviancy and were committing crimes before starting drug usage
Drugs and Socioeconomic Status The higher the status, the more likely to use marijuana Heroin is the most popular among lower status people, especially those who live in poor, inner city areas Cocaine is more common with affluent people because of its expense and crack cocaine is more common among poor people because it is cheaper Meth and roofies are found more among the working class and the young Ecstasy is mostly used by high school and college students or young professionals
Becoming a Drug User Four stages associated with becoming a drug user: Experimentation Occasional Use (once a week or less) Regular Use (once a day or more) Addiction (unable to break the habit) A user may go through all stages or stop at any stage Most users are introduced to drugs by their friends Howard Becker (1963) identified 3 steps of learning how to become a marijuana user: Learning the technique of how to get high by watching friends Learning to recognize the effects of the drug Learning to enjoy the effects
Social Profile Male 18-25 yrs old Learn to use from parents/peers If in high school more likely to skip class/school/drop out
Causes of illegal drug use Biological Psychological Sociological
Theories Economic Deprecation The link between drug abuse and deprivation Explanation on why poor people turn to drugs Cognitive Association Designed to explain drug addiction
Explains why people of all walks of life use drugs
Punitive strategy Drug laws against minorities Law enforcement aimed at foreign countries Advocates fight the idea that current drug laws do more harm than good Most Americans oppose legalization – fear of drug addiction rise
The war on Drugs Historical Pattern Two basic strategies: Punitive “Using law enforcement to stop the supply of drugs and punish drug sellers and users” (Thio, 2010, P. 288). Supportive “Using drug prevention (or education) and treatment to reduce the demand for drugs and help drug addicts” (Thio, 2010, P. 288). In 2008 $8.3 billion spent on enforcing drug laws. In 2008 $4.6 billion spend in incarcerating drug offenders. Fist battle on drugs was in 1875
Prevention Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE)– This program is taught in schools all over.
Treatment Chemical Treatment Detoxification Psychological Therapy Aversion Therapy Personal Therapy Group Therapy Therapeutic Community
Smoking Cigarettes -Legal drugs are more prevalent -Legal drugs are more dangerous over time -Smoking is related to lung cancer -Smokers make up 25% of U.S. population -13 % of young adults (12-17 years old) smoke in any given month -White teenagers are more likely to smoke over blacks but as adults blacks are more likely to smoke. -Those with less education are more likely to smoke. -There are many more adult male smokers than adult females
References for Part I Thio, Alex. Deviant Behavior. Tenth Ed. 2010. Boston, MA. Pages 269-284.
“Preincarceration Patterns of Drug and Alcohol Use by Jail Inmates.” Criminal Justice PolicyReview. 1991. Pages 5-40. Sage Publications. Accessed on Sept. 16, 2010. http://cjp.sagepub.com
Stein, Judith A., Michael D. Newcomb, and P.M. Butler. “An 8-Year Study of Multiple
Influences on Drug Use and Drug Use Consequences.” University of California, Los
Angeles. American Psychological Association, Inc. 1997. Accessed on Sept. 16, 2010.
References for Part II Bogenschneider, K., Wu, M., Raffaelli, M., & Tsay, J. C. (1998). "Other teens drink, but not my kid": Does parental awareness of adolescents alcohol use protect adolescents from risky consequences? Journal of Marriage and Family, 60(2), 356-373. Retrieved September 17, 2010, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/353854 Simons, R. L., & Robertson, J. F. (1989). The impact of parenting factors, deviant peers, and coping style upon adolescent drug use. Family Relations, 38(3), 273-281. Retrieved September 17, 2010, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/585052.
References part II cont Thio, A. (2010). Deviant behavior (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. Thomas, G., Farrell, M. P., & Barnes, G. M. (1996). The effects of single-mother families and nonresident fathers on delinquency and substance abuse in black and white adolescents. Journal of Marriage and Family, 58(4), 884-894. Retrieved September 17, 2010, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/353977.