Social Problems: Drug and Alcohol Use and Abuse - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


PPT – Social Problems: Drug and Alcohol Use and Abuse PowerPoint presentation | free to download - id: 3b4ac3-NDRjY


The Adobe Flash plugin is needed to view this content

Get the plugin now

View by Category
About This Presentation

Social Problems: Drug and Alcohol Use and Abuse


Social Problems: Drug and Alcohol Use and Abuse Introduction Wide variations in the use of illicit drugs and excessive drinking practices are found around the world. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:4728
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 45
Provided by: publishU5
Learn more at:


Write a Comment
User Comments (0)
Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: Social Problems: Drug and Alcohol Use and Abuse

Social ProblemsDrug and Alcohol Use and Abuse
  • Wide variations in the use of illicit drugs and
    excessive drinking practices are found around the
  • Substance abuse is particularly prevalent among
    the young worldwide.
  • The processes of globalization tend to increase
    the availability of mind-altering substances.

  • Subject of drugs is clouded with myths many
    people assume drugs dangerous when illegal
  • Use of legal drugs such as alcoholic beverages
    and tobacco is more prevalent than the use of
    illegal drugs such as marijuana and heroin
  • Reality is alcohol and tobacco kill far more
    people (i.e. cause 60X more deaths in U.S.)
  • Other legal drugs also often misused or abused
    (i.e. prescription medication)

(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
Definitional issues
  • Drug a physical substance that causes
    recognizable physical or psychological effects.
  • Addiction a physiological dependence on a
    substance, that, in its absence, involves
    pronounced distress, known as a withdrawal or
    abstinence syndrome. Addiction may also involve
    psychological dependence, or a strong emotional
    need for the substance in the absence of a
    physical dependence on it.
  • Tolerance the need for increased amounts of the
    substance in order to achieve intoxication (or
    the desired effect) or a marked diminished effect
    with continued use of the same amount

Illegal Drugs Their Effects
  • Three main categories
  • stimulants stimulate the central nervous system
  • depressants reduce the activity of the nervous
  • hallucinogens (or psychoactives) disturb the
    nervous system and distort the user's perception
    of reality
  • Marijuana fits into all three categories

Effects (cont.)
  • Effects of drugs influenced by
  • level of dosage
  • purity of drug
  • drug mixing
  • the method of administration
  • the degree of habituation

  • Most widely used illegal drug
  • From Indian hemp plant
  • studies suggest it makes people less aggressive
  • many argue that there are serious health hazards
  • short term effects memory loss and anxiety
  • long term effects cancer, respiratory diseases
    and heart problems
  • However, research indicates moderate use is not
    worse than alcohol or smoking
  • can also be used medically
  • does not directly cause its users to move to
    hard drugs like heroin, but can occur if
    marijuana users have friends who use hard drugs.

  • First produced 1898 from morphine
  • Use can lead to physical and psychological
    dependence and addiction

Cocaine and crack
  • from coca plants that are mostly grown in
  • used in the past as a local anesthetic and a drug
    for offsetting fatigue and depression.
  • Before being made illegal, it was used as a
    pleasure drug by poor and powerless
  • Cocaine sometimes seen as symbol of wealth and

Meth, Roofies, and Esctasy
  • Meth (methamphetamine) is an injectable stimulant
    known as speed
  • Roofies or roach is a depressant related to
  • Ecstasy is the most recently popular drug, esp.
    among youth
  • PBS Frontline (2006) The Meth Epidemic

Other Hallucinogens
  • LSD
  • Synthetic drug
  • Can cause bad trips and flashbacks
  • PCP (angel dust)
  • An animal sedative
  • May lead to violent behaviour

Prevalence of Illegal Drug Use
  • In Canada, 1989-1993
  • use of meth, heroin, LSD remained stable
  • cocaine and marijuana use down
  • In 2002, nearly 200,000 Canadians dependent on
    illicit drugs alone.
  • In U.S. drug use widespread
  • Recent research shows 12 of people 12 yrs. and
    over use illicit drugs
  • However, 1980-1992 use declined, and now stable

Problems Related to Drug Use
  • Publics perception of drugs as deviant and
    dangerous has led to moral panics
  • Intravenous injection of an illegal drug can
    spread HIV and AIDS
  • Research shows that people who use illegal drugs
    generally commit more crime (Thio)

Common Misconception the Gateway Hypothesis
  • The claim that the use of soft drugs inevitably
    leads to the use of harder drugs. There is little
    evidence to support this hypothesis, though this
    assumption shapes criminal law penalties for soft
    drug offences, especially in the United States
  • Butmany have used marijuana but have not
    graduated to heroin

Enslavement hypothesis
  • The claim that drug users can be so overpowered
    by drugs as to become permanently addicted after
    one or two exposures
  • Drug users forced into life of crime to support
  • Little evidence to support this hypothesis.

General deviance syndrome theory
  • Refutes enslavement hypothesis
  • The high correlation between drugs and crime is
    because both drug users and criminality are part
    of a general deviance syndrome

Socioeconomic Status and Drugs
  • Strong connection between higher status and
  • college and high school students use it the most
  • Correlation between lower status and heroin but
    since 1990s more affluent starting to use it
  • Cocaine use linked to higher status, but crack
    use to lower SES
  • Meth and roofies working-class and young people
  • Ecstacy students and young professionals

Stages of Drug Abuse (Gomme)
  • Experimental (occasional use) gt
  • Recreational (social use) gt
  • Situational (to solve problem i.e. stress) gt
  • Intensified (daily use) gt
  • Compulsive (becomes dominant activity)

Social Profile of Drug Users
  • Those using more drugs are
  • males, who are considerably more likely to use
    drugs regularly, and extremely more likely to use
    drugs heavily
  • relatively young, especially those free from
    parental control and responsibilities
  • likely to have parents who use legal drugs, and
    friends who first gave them drugs
  • skipped school more often and stayed home less

Theories of Drug Abuse
  • Biological theories inborn tolerance
  • Psychological theories low self-esteem
  • Economic deprivation theory link between drug
    use and deprivation abuse drugs to forget or
    to obtain status
  • Cognitive association theory use to stave off
    withdrawal pains
  • Multifactor theories combine social and
    psychological factors i.e. use to belong to a
    group and because have low self-esteem

Legal DrugsAbuse of Prescription Drugs
  • i.e. oxycontin
  • Started off as middle class problem
  • Over-prescription by doctors
  • Lead to practices of forged prescriptions and
    double doctoring

Double doctoring
  • The practice of those with a drug addiction of
    visiting two or more doctors in order to obtain
    prescriptions for drugs that have some street
    value or have non-medical uses.

The Creation of a Social ProblemLabelling and
  • ADHD is a recent label applied to a certain type
    of childhood social behaviour
  • The clip below is a good example of what Spector
    and Kitsuse (1977) called claims making
  • PBS Frontline (2001) Medicating Kids
  • Watch part 3 of this video The Promoters of ADHD

Moral Entrepreneurs and Claims Making Activity
(from lecture 1)
  • Moral entrpreneurs have the power to label
    problems or problem behaviour in society
  • Often members of elites or interest groups
  • Stages in Claims-Making activity
  • Stage 1 Problem Definition
  • - gaining public recognition
  • Stage 2 Legitimacy
  • - acceptance by official agencies
  • Stage 3 Reemergence of demands
  • -reasserting demands
  • Stage 4 Rejection and institution building
  • - forming new organization to solve the problem

Legal DrugsTobacco Use
  • Nicotine a natural stimulant found in tobacco
  • 26 of Canadians smoke (2001)
  • Increase among youth and women
  • Many health effects i.e. lung cancer, emphysema,
    heart disease
  • Also, second-hand smoke effects

Smoking Facts(adapted from http//
  • 22 of Canadians over age 12 were smokers in
    2005, down slightly from 2003 (23).
  • Smoking rates have declined among both men and
    women and across all age groups - except among
    seniors, where rates appear to be stable.
  • The greatest decline in smoking rates between
    2000/01 and 2005 were among youth aged 12 to 17.
  • Between 2003 and 2005, smoking rates declined in
    nine provinces and territories. The most dramatic
    decline was in Nunavut, where the smoking rate
    among the population aged 12 and older dropped
    from 65 to 53. In the Yukon, the smoking rate
    rose over this two-year period.
  • Smoking rates in 2005 were higher among
    lower-income earners (30.4) than among middle-
    and high-income earners (22.8).

Global Smoking Rates
  • Internationally, Canada has relatively low
    smoking rates
  • In 2004, Canada's adult smoking rate was 15,
    while France and Germany had rates of 23 and
    24. Japan had one of the highest smoking rates
    among OECD nations (29.4) the United States and
    Australia had rates slightly higher than those of
    Canada (17).

Legal Drugs Alcohol
  • Main problems associated with alcohol in North
    America are alcoholism and binge drinking
  • Is a central nervous system depressant
  • About 80 of Canadians over 14 reported drinking
    alcohol in 2004

Alcohol Statistics (Statistics Canada)
  • Slightly more males than females drink alcohol
  • 44 drink regularly (weekly)
  • 25 drink heavily at least once a month
  • 25 of all males and 9 of all females are high
    risk drinkers in Canada

Alcohol and Depression
  • In 2002, more than 600,000 Canadians were
    dependent on alcohol
  • Depression was common among people who were
    alcohol- or drug-dependent.
  • Heavy drinking tended to lead to depression, but
    at the same time, depression led to heavy
  • (http//

Alcoholism and Binge Drinking
  • Alcoholism is main problem associated with
  • Alcoholism Stages (Thio)
  • 1. Pre-alcoholic stage
  • prospective alcoholics begin as social drinkers
    and experience relief from tensions
  • 2. Forewarning stage
  • blackouts and excessive drinking
  • 3. Crucial stage
  • Loss of control over drinking
  • 4. Chronic stage
  • Physical addiction
  • Binge drinking (periodic heavy drinking) a
    problem at colleges and universities

Theories of Alcoholism
  • Biological Genetic vulnerability
  • Some evidence from twin studies
  • Psychological theories
  • i.e. the alcoholic personality (antisocial,
    manipulative, attention-seeking, depressed)
  • Social psychological theories
  • There is a fit between vulnerable personality
    traits (i.e. alcoholic personality) and certain
    drinking group values and activities
  • Sociological (Robert Bates)
  • production of acute inner tensions in people by
    their culture
  • a culturally induced attitude toward drinking as
    a means of relieving the tensions
  • failure of the culture to provide nonalcoholic
    means for resolving the tensions

Important Sociological Theories of Substance Abuse
  • Structural Functionalist
  • Society and culture influence individuals to
    abuse drugs and alcohol
  • Eg. Alcohol media and advertising tend to
    normalize drinking in our society
  • ie beer ads sell images, fantasies and life
    styles rather than beer itself
  • Studies show beer advertising linked to positive
    feelings about beer and drinking
  • Example Molsons I Am Canadian

Structural Functionalist Social Disorganization
  • Rapid social change causes disorganization in
  • Breakdown of norms and values result
  • Traditional sanctions become ineffective
  • How does this affect youth?

Structural Functionalism Mertons Anomie Theory
  • The relationship between cultural goals and
    legitimate opportunities become incongruent
  • Individuals adapt to the structurally produced
    strain (anomie) in alternative ways i.e. through
    drug dealing or substance abuse

Mertons Theory of Anomie Modes of Adaptation
Modes (cont.)
  • Conformity
  • Most common adaptation
  • Innovation
  • When fierce competition for society's valued
    goals by adequate means drug dealing
  • Ritualism
  • Life has no purpose just doing what supposed to
    be done
  • Retreatism
  • Apathy escapist activities alcohol or drugs
  • Rebellion
  • Start a new system e.g. drug subculture

Conflict Theory
  • Alcohol and drug abuse varies by SES
  • i.e. wealthy more likely to use alcohol but the
    poor more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs
  • Powerful groups in society define what is legal
    or illegal can label and criminalize substances
  • Alcohol and tobacco companies controlled by the
  • Consequently, in Can. society, alcohol and
    tobacco are legal but other substances are not.
  • See Box 3.3 in text on the social construction of
    opium and Chinese immigrants

Symbolic Interactionism
  • Focus on the meanings and values associated with
    labels applied to abusers
  • Text gives example of alcoholic vs. social

War on Drugs
  • This is the U.S. position
  • Drugs are a threat to safety and well-being of
  • Every effort must be made to control and
    eliminate use and sale of illegal drugs

Legalizing Drugs
  • Netherlands has a national drug policy
  • Focus is on prevention and reduction of harm
    rather than law enforcement and prosecution.
  • When drugs are legal can control quality and use.

For Debate.
  • Which alternative is better?
  • War on Drugs vs. Legalizing Drugs
  • Form groups of 3-4 people and choose one of the
    above positions
  • Support your position with 2-3 point and choose a
    spokeperson to report your decision to the rest
    of the class.