How do we understand drug use? How are drugs related to our social worlds? How should drug use be understood, approached and dealt with? Insightful and illuminating, this book successfully discusses drugs in social contexts. In an elegant manner, the authors bring together their different theoretical and practical backgrounds, offering a comprehensive and interdisciplinary introduction that opens up a wide scientific understanding moving beyond cultural myths and presuppositions. Powerful and engaging, this book discusses main questions within the field of psychoactive drugs research, such as: Why do people take drugs? How do we understand moral panics? What is the relationship between drugs and violence? How do people's social positions influence their individual involvement in drug use? This is an invaluable reference source for students on criminology, sociology and social sciences programmes, as well as students and drug service practitioners in social work, social policy and nursing.



For an individual whose drug or alcohol use becomes a daily activity, for whom consumption proves difficult to limit, reduce or stop and where that consumption interferes with the health and/or well-being of the individual concerned that person is commonly said to be addicted or dependent on the substance(s) in question. Exactly what that means however is open to debate. A strongly pharmacological, chemically based, view would suggest that addiction is mainly caused by the ability of the substance to ‘addict’; a bio-chemical view that both genetic predisposition and substance are of primary importance and a more ‘social’ and psychological view that addiction to drugs may be but one form of addictive behaviour where substances play a part but perhaps not the primary ...

locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles