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Chapter 8

SYG-2010 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Boogie 2Nite, Binge Drinking, Passive Smoking


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SYG-2010
Professor
Michael Turner
Chapter
8

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Chapter 8 Alcohol and Other Drugs
What is a drug?
Drug: any chemical substance other than food or water that affects the mind or body
People have used various natural substances to cause changes in the human body
Thousands of synthetic substances have been added to the list of available drugs
Drugs cause changes that people think of as good
2/3 thirds of adults in the US say that drugs are a serious social problem
Differences in opinions about various drugs
Drugs and culture
Opinions vary from one society to the next to this day
Definitions of drugs and accompanying social problems change over time
Drugs, race, and ethnicity
How people define drugs has a lot to do with which categories of the population are
using the drug
o Ex. white people in the South feared that easily available cocaine would fall into
Afia Aeias hads = slol stated outlaig oaie
“haped the pulis opiio of othe dugs
o Ex. Chinese immigrants associated with using opium = anti-Chinese feelings
prompted ban of opium and start of concern about drugs as social problem
Changing views of alcohol
Ethnicity plays a central part in alcohol history in US
Alcohol defined as good drug among Europeans who first settled in US
19th century = opinions turned negative due to increase in tide of immigration
o Common stereotypes linked alcohol with immigrants (already controversial
topic)
Opposition to immigration increased as did support for the temperance movement
(social movement that wanted to ban alcohol)
o 1920: Congress passed 18th Amendment (outlawed manufacture and sale of
alcohol through US)
o Ban became known as the Prohibition
Prohibition reduced alcohol consumption but was never able to end it
Pushed prices sharply higher started illegal smuggling of liquor from Canada
o Notorious gangsters made fortunes smuggling and distributing liquor to secret
speakeas ightlus
Others began distilling it themselves at home
o People began mixing drinks to drink the awful-tastig athtu gi
Created another problem huge boost to organized crime (gained more wealth and
power)
o Public eventually saw that Prohibition was more of a problem than a solution
o 1933: Congress passed the 21st Amendment = repeal Prohibition and brought an
end to the failed Geat Epeiet
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The Extent of Drug Use
Depends on which drugs you are talking about and how you define it
Positive view we have of most drugs reflects not only how widespread this use is but
also the fact that most of us think such drugs make life better
Dug pole alas igs to id the illegal dugs
Why do people use drugs?
Therapeutic uses: offer medical benefits (controlling seizures, lessening depression, or
reducing pain)
Recreational uses: make people feel more relaxed, used in social situations
Spiritual or psychological uses: to alter human consciousness (ex. peyote)
Escape: can dull the pain of living when dealing with serious trouble in their lives
Social conformity: in order to fit in socially (ex. peer pressure)
Several factors often operate at once
Use and abuse
Separation between use and abuse of drugs is a socially constructed boundary between
what is typically acceptable behavior and what is almost always unacceptable behavior
Drug abuse = use of any illegal substance or the use of a legal substance in a way that
violates accepted medical practice
Way to distinguish = focus on effect of the drug
o Use drug = function well in everyday life
o Abuse drug = suffer physical, mental, or social harm
Assessing whether or not a drug causes harm is not always easy
Addiction and dependency
Addiction: physical or psychological craving for a drug
19th century = people considered to be addicted if they suffered from withdrawal
symptoms (physical distress when they stopped using drug)
o Ex. chills, fever, diarrhea, twitching, nausea, vomiting, cramps, and aches/pains
Precise points at which someone becomes addicted to a drug depends on number of
factors
o Dosage and duration of drug use
o Pesos geeal phsial ad etal health
Dependency: a state i whih a perso’s ody has adjusted to regular use of a drug
Experience a need to continue using drug in order to feel comfortable
“oeties haateized as haig a dug hait
Types of drugs
Stimulants: drugs that increase alertness, altering a perso’s ood y ireasig eergy
Widely used in the US
Caffeine: single most popular drug available in many products
Nicotine: toxic and highly addictive
o Most common way ingested = smoking cigarettes
o Became popular among men in the United States during WWI
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o Government did little to discourage smoking until 1960s
o People have become more aware that smoking involves serious health risks
o Share of adults who have smoke cigarettes has steadily declined
o 2010: 19% of US adults were smoking regularly in US
o Worldwide: 30% of adults smoke cigarettes
Trend is upward raises concerns about human health
o US: cigarette smoking is the single, greatest, preventable cause of death
Each year = 440,000 people die prematurely due to tobacco use
Exceeds death toll from alcohol/other illegal drugs, suicide, homicide, and
automobile accidents
Second-hand smoke is blamed for about 50,000 deaths each year
o 1998: settlement between US tobacco companies and states that filed lawsuits
seeking compensation for harm caused to people by smoking
Cigarette manufacturers received protection from mounting lawsuits in
exchange for paying billions of dollars that was directed toward cost of
providing medical care to smokers
Banned cigarette advertising directed at young people
o One clear solution = quit
Ritalin and Adderall: regulated drugs prescribed by doctors to treat children with ADHD
or ADD
o Disorders where children are overactive, have trouble concentrating, or cannot
focus attention on teacher/another adult
o Increased sharply in the US in recent years
o Sales surged from $4 billion (2006) to $7.2 billion (2010)
o 8% of college students take this drug to treat a disorder
o % of ollege studets otai these stud dugs
o Controversial drug
Cocaine and crack: powerful stimulants that heighten alertness raise blood pressure
and pulse rate
o Keep people awake, reduce appetite, cause some people to be agitated and even
violent
o 2010: 1.8% of people (12+) used cocaine in some form during past year
o Very addictive harmful and even deadly
o Use leads to about 3,500 deaths each year in the US
o Crack = hardened form of cocaine smoked in a pipe
o African Americans are twice as likely as whites to use crack
Amphetamines: increase alertness, cause excited sense of well-being, reduce desire to
sleep and eat
o First developed for medical treatment of personality disorders and obesity
o Use of methamphetamine is most serious drug problem can be produced by
supelas i ast uatities
o Use encourage people to engage in other serious crime
o Most popular of illegal stimulants after cocaine
o Only type of drug whose use by women is almost as widespread as among men
o 2010: 1 million people used this at least once
o Ma egi takig these ude dotos supeisio ad ed up depedet o
drug
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