• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

KEY FEATURES: Two opening chapters introduce readers to the theories and perspectives used by social scientists to study drugs and alcohol, and to the larger trends in legal and illegal use of controlled substances. Six chapters on alcohol provide comprehensive coverage of the most widely used and abused drug in America. Lively discussions of alcohol and drugs in American popular culture brings the topic to life and relatable. Two appendices contain case histories from the authors' field research of individuals with alcohol and substance use disorders.

Chapter 11: Becoming a Drug User: Careers, Personalities, and Interaction—Two Perspectives

Becoming a Drug User: Careers, Personalities, and Interaction—Two Perspectives
Chapter 11 Becoming a drug user: Careers, personalities, and interaction—two perspectives
Thomas S. WeinbergGerhard FalkUrsula Adler Falk

Drug use, abuse, and addiction are complex behaviors that require different perspectives in order to gain a complete understanding of the dynamics involved in their development.1 An academic sociological framework enables one to understand the place of larger societal structures, culture, and social context in addiction, but an intellectual understanding of the drug phenomenon is not enough. One of the early fathers of American sociology, Charles Horton Cooley, called for sociologists to practice what he called “sympathetic introspection.” According to Cooley (1909), the sociologist comes to understand people “largely by what may be called sympathetic introspection, putting himself into intimate ...

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