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.
Chapter 14: Normalisation
Normalisation is a concept which, when applied to drug use, describes a process of behavioural and cultural change whereby drug use is accepted or tolerated to a degree, by both users and non-users in wider society. The debate emerged in the UK in the early 1990s regarding the extent to which normalisation might better explain significant changes in drug use and users – particularly young people's ‘recreational’ use of cannabis and psychostimulants – than traditional structural, psychological and subcultural explanations. The ensuing normalisation debate has been applied, refined and contested across Europe, North America and Australasia for two decades.
[Page 73]The concept of normalisation developed in disability studies in the 1970s and was used to describe the reintegration of those with disabilities into wider society. ...