• 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.

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs
Chapter 2 Alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs
Thomas S. WeinbergGerhard FalkUrsula Adler Falk

From a sociological perspective, there is little difference among addicted drug users, no matter what their drug of choice: heroin, cocaine, crack, methamphetamines, alcohol, and so forth. In fact, as we will see later in this chapter, many users combine more than one drug, including alcohol, and it is not unusual for an individual to have multiple addictions. Despite chemical differences among various substances, drug users, especially those who are addicted, act pretty much the same way. There are very little behavioral differences between, say, heroin addicts and alcoholics.1 Becoming a user of illicit drugs or an addict or alcoholic is part of an interactive process, whereby the ...

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