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Canada (161,477)
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Chapter 3

Chapter3- Alcohol & Other Drugs.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
Sociology 2140
Professor
Paul Whitehead
Semester
Fall

Description
3- Alcohol and Other Drugs October-01-12 8:36 AM  MAAD o 1200 impaired driving deaths on Can roadways, 74000 injured o Minimum cost estimate of 1.9 bill, 11 bill including social costs such as rehabilitation  Substance use becomes a social problem- "abuse", interferes with well-being of ind & societies in which they live  Dealing with drugs society must balance ind rights & civil liberties against personal/social harm i.e. mental illness  Under the criminal code there are four specific type of driving offences o Operating or having care/control of vehicle while impaired o Engaging in impaired driving causing death or bodily harm o Operating or having care/control of a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration over 0.08% o Failing to provide breath or blood samples for analysis without a reasonable cause 3.1 THE GLOBAL CONTEXT: DRUG USE AND ABUSE  Drug: any substance other than food that alters the structure and functioning of a living organism when it enters the bloodstream  Societies vary in definition of response to drug use- drug use is influenced by the social context of the society Drug Use Around The World  More people are going to respond to using drugs over a lifetime rather than a period of time (year) o Lifetime-indicators may overstate degree to which drug use is a problem o Life-time indicator can show vulnerabilities that correlate with a higher drug usage  To determine whether a drug is a social problem- factually causative of other social harms  Government in the Netherlands treat drug use as a health issue rather than a crime issue, resulting in a decrease in use among Dutch youth  Population drug- use trends are not always inevitably upward, and are not always linked to marginalization or "deviance" Drug Use in Canada  Statistics o 1975- 46% can identified drug use as very serious o 1995- 34% o 1992- 64% Canadian teens view drug use as a problem o 2000- 48%  Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy (CFDP) work to purpose "drug laws that are effective and human"  Condemn drugs like heroin but encourage and tolerate alcohol 3.2 SOCIOLOGICAL THEORIES OF DRUG USE AND ABUSE  Concentrate on psychoactive drugs- alter the functioning of the brain, affecting the moods, emotions & perceptions, including alcohol, cocaine, heroin and marijuana  Drug abuse occurs- acceptable social standards of drug use are violated, resulting in psychological, physiological and social consequences. EX: drug use leads to hospitalization, arrest, divorce…  Drug abuse does not entail drug addiction  Drug addiction/chemical dependency: condition in which drug use is compulsive- users are unable to stop because of their dependency which can be psychological or physical Structural -Functionalist Perspective  Drug abuse is a response to the weakening of norms in society  As society becomes more complex & rapid social change occurs norms/values become unclear/ambiguous resulting in ANOMIE- state of normlessness  Anomie produces inconsistencies in cultural norms- health officials/professionals warn against alcohol consumption and films glorify it Anomie at ind level- adolescence experiencing a parental divorce and the consequence of that  may turn to drug use  From this perspective- drug use is a response to the absence of a perceived bond b/w the ind and society and to the weakening of a consensus on what is considered acceptable Conflict Perspective  Emphasizes imp of power differentials in influencing drug use behaviour and societal values concerning drug use  Occurs as a response to inequality perpetuated by capitalist system, drug use to escape oppression and frustration that correspond to low status  Influence of most powerful members of society to define which drugs are legal/illegal & set penalties for their production, sale and use- sale of alcohol benefits those with power/privilege/influence  39.8 billion in annual costs from substance abuse to the Canadian economy o 17b- tobacco, 14.6b- alcohol, 8.2b- illicit drugs  Consumption of street drugs associated with powerless, poor, minorities  Criminalizing cocaine/heroin/marijuana exercises social control over powerless, political opponents & minorities  Once marijuana was used by white-middle class students and not just minorities the punishments were lessened Symbolic Interactionist Perspective  Emphasizing importance of definitions & labelling, concentrates on social meanings associated with drug use  If someone is termed a "druggie" their behaviour will escalate  Drug use through symbolic interaction in small groups- friends encouraging each other to do drugs - learn how to smoke and label the experience positively  Research on how those with drug dependencies structure their histories- explain how users take on an identity as a "drug addict" also how they resist those identities o Female drug traffickers portray themselves in parole hearings as the victim not the offender, board members except the view of exploited women and dominating men 3.3 FREQUENTLY USED LEGAL AND ILLEGAL DRUGS  Social definitions of legal/illegal drugs change with over time with circumstance and societal forces  Two largest abused drugs in Canada are tobacco and alcohol which is legal Alcohol  Argued that push for prohibition was a moral crusade against immigrant groups more likely to abuse it  "New Temperance"- increased concern about fetal alcohol syndrome, teenage drinking and calls for strict enforcement of drinking and driving regulations  Alcohol is the most widely abused substance among adults and youths  Alcoholics experience psychological, physiological, economic, personal harm as result of alcohol dependency  Binge drinking- 5+ beverages on one occasion is most common among youth, more prevalent among young men o More likely to use cigarettes, marijuana, hallucinogens & chewing tobacco  National Population Health Survey (NPHS)- as education increases so does the likelihood that Canadians are regular drinkers  Proportion of Canadian men and women who drank at least once per month rose steadily with increases in income, men with higher income were heavier drinkers Tobacco  Addictive psychoactive drug, 2001 5.4 mill Canadian were smokers - compared to 2 decades ago fewer Canadian smoke and those who do smoke less  Concern with media influence on children's smoking and drinking behaviour  Tobacco first cultivated by indigenous people for religious purposed, European settlers believed it had medicinal purposes and it spread throughout Europe assuring success in NA colonies - initially chewing tobacco  Evidence linking tobacco to lung cancer occurred as early as 1859 o Lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, strokes, emphysema, spontaneous abortion, premature death, neonatal death…  1 person dies every 12 mins in CAN from smoking-related diseases, kills more than 45000 a year  Reduces the amount of time your going to live and results in disabilities in old age  2030- tobacco related diseases will be 1 cause of death worldwide killing 1/6 people o 80% death in poor nations where smokers unaware of hazards associated with smoking  Gov't introduced control measures to reduce smoking- media campaigns, public education, legislated restrictions on access to cigarettes, public smoking and sponsorship promotion by tobacco companies  2002 taxes on cigarettes increase $3.50 to reduce the incidence of smoking Marijuana  Illegal drug use far less common than alcohol and tobacco use, marijuana most commonly used and highly trafficked drug in the world , 69.9% of 18-19 year olds reported a lifetime use  Marijuana's active ingredient "THC" may act as sedative or hallucinogen depending on the amount ingested  Compared with others in same age cohort, Canadian street youth report higher rates of illicit drug use and alcohol o 66-88% of street youth use cannabis o Substance abuse by parents and siblings is common and often coupled with poverty, neglect and physical or sexual abuse  Carcinogenic effects of marijuana are as lethal as nicotine but other long-term physiological effects are unknown o Significant factor in injuries and fatalities suffered in car accidents Cocaine  Stimulant- produces feelings of excitation, alertness & euphoria, focus of societal concerns over drug abuse o Increased use, addictive qualities, physiological effects & worldwide distribution fuelled concerns Other Drugs  Other drugs abused in CAN include- prescription, inhalants, heroin and club drugs Club Drugs  Illicit synthetic, used after hours such as raves, includes MDMA, ketamine, GHB, Rohypnol  Ecstasy- <1% of pop'n use varies with its image and availability, gives feelings of Euphoria and inner peace o Long/short term negative effects- permanent brain damage and hypothermia  GHB (liquid ecstasy) and rohypnol, "date-rate" drugs illegal o Rohypnol is tasteless and odorless 1mg/12 hrs. Heroin  Most commonly injected drug- Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver  HIV infection attributable to injection drug use especially native people Prescription Drugs  Tranquillizers and depressants used in treatment of psychiatric disorders  Women more likely then men to use them as well as elderly opposed to youth o
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