DRUGS AND SOCIETY
TEST QUESTION What unique perspective does sociology
bring to the study of drugs?
-Situates the “drug problem” in social& historical contexts -how
we define and experience drugs is socially created
-Refutes the “chemicalistic-fallacy” (the view that drug X
causes behavior Y) –social and contextual factors change the
characteristics of drug use
-Focuses on hidden moral and ideological assumptions;
Analyzes what is portrayed as “truths”
Defining Drugs& Drug Use: Groups& Cultures define…
-appropriate drug taking;
-acceptable/not acceptable drugs;
-who takes drugs and why;
-acceptable amounts of each drug;
-which social situations are approved for drug use and which are
-what drugs do, what their actions and effects on people will be
4 Basic Questions
What is a drug?
Common definition; any substance that in small amounts
produces significant changes in body, mind or both
Goode’s definition: A drug is something that has been defined
by certain segments of the society as a drug. Better?
Why do we use drugs?
-To feel better
-Health/ to treat disease
-Right of passage