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.

Typologies of Drug Use: Use–Misuse–Abuse and Problematic–Recreational Use

Typologies of drug use: Use–misuse–abuse and problematic–recreational use

Two key typologies of drug use are the use–misuse-abuse typology and the problematic–recreational typology.

  • The use–misuse–abuse typology characterises the degrees of social acceptability of drug use and distinguishes between perceptions of legitimate drug use; legally, medically or socially unsanctioned misuse; and problematic use with harmful consequences for the individual or society termed abuse. Addiction or dependency may be included as the final category.
  • The problematic–recreational typology characterises the motivation or pattern of drug use. Recreational drug use is (usually) non-problematic drug use during leisure periods and in social settings. Problem drug use is later ‘career’ drug use when daily use, dependency, injecting or other problematic patterns of use have developed.

Drug use ...

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