Substance use and abuse are two of the most frequent psychological problems clinicians encounter. Mainstream approaches focus on the biological and psychological factors supporting drug abuse. But to fully comprehend the issue, clinicians need to consider the social, historical, and cultural factors responsible for drug-related problems. Substance Use and Abuse: Cultural and Historical Perspectives provides an inclusive explanation of the human desire to take drugs. Using a multidisciplinary framework, authors Russil Durrant and Jo Thakker explore the cultural and historical variables that contribute to drug use. Integrating biological, psychosocial, and cultural-historical perspectives, this innovative and accessible volume addresses the fundamental question of why drug use is such a ubiquitous feature of human society.

The Forces of History: Explaining Patterns of Use and Abuse

The forces of history: Explaining patterns of use and abuse


In an influential book, Norman Zinberg (1984) argued that the effects of a drug are determined by three different factors: drug, set, and setting. Zinberg's work was important in that it demonstrated how the same pharmacological substance might exert quite different effects on users depending upon users' beliefs, expectations, and mental state and on the social context in which the drug is taken. All three of these factors—drug, set, and setting—have changed over time in a number of ways. Different drugs and different forms of drugs have been introduced and developed; people's beliefs and expectations regarding drug effects have changed; and the social context of drug ...

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