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Contemporary Social Problems Week 8

by: Katerina Kushla

Contemporary Social Problems Week 8 SO 1103

Marketplace > Mississippi State University > Sociology > SO 1103 > Contemporary Social Problems Week 8
Katerina Kushla
GPA 4.0

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About this Document

Oct. 3-7, 2016 Alcohol and Other Drugs
Contemporary Social Problems
Laura Jean Kerr
Class Notes
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Katerina Kushla on Friday October 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SO 1103 at Mississippi State University taught by Laura Jean Kerr in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see Contemporary Social Problems in Sociology at Mississippi State University.


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Date Created: 10/07/16
Chapter 3: Alcohol and Other Drugs Week 8 10/3-7/16 What is a drug? - Pharmacology any substance other than food that alters functioning of an organism - Sociologically, the term drug refers to any chemical substance that o Has a direct effect on the user’s physical, psychological, and/or intellectual functioning o Has the potential to be abused o Has adverse consequences for the individual and/or society - Drug abuse: when acceptable social standards of drug use are violated, resulting in adverse physiological, psychological, and/or social consequences - Chemical dependency: a condition where drug abuse is compulsive; users are unable to stop Drugs: Alcohol and Tobacco - Alcohol: drug of choice for majority of Americans o 66% of US adults drink alcohol, averaging 4 drinks a week o Heavy drinking is five or more drinks on the same occasion on each of five or more days in the past 30 days o Binge drinking is drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion on at least 1 day in the past 30 days - Tobacco: Drug of choice for a quarter of Americans Drugs: Illegal (in USA) - Marijuana: most commonly used and trafficked illicit drug in the world - Cocaine: is classified as a stimulant: produces feelings of excitation, alertness, and euphoria o Coca leaves (cocaine) were in the original formula for Cocoa-Cola - Methamphetamine: is a central nervous system stimulant - Synthetic: a category of drugs that are “designed” in laboratories rather than naturally occurring in plant material Societal Consequences - Total annual cost of substance abuse and addiction in the U.S. at $467.7 billion o Focus is on cleanup versus prevention - The average cost for 1 full year of methadone maintenance treatment is approximately $4,700 per patient whereas 1 full year of imprisonment costs approximately $24,000 per person - Arrested, incarcerated, and in drug treatment programs are used to treat drug distribution, use, and abuse o Possession, cultivation, production, and sale of controlled substances, public intoxication, drunk and disorderly conduct, driving while intoxicated - It is estimated that 1 in 10 US children live with at least one parent in need of treatment for drugs or alcohol dependency - Children raised in such homes are more likely to: o Live in an environmental riddled with conflict o Have a higher probability of physical illness including injuries or death from automobile accidents Chapter 3: Alcohol and Other Drugs Week 8 10/3-7/16 o Are more likely to be victims of child abuse and neglect - Sociologists/criminologists disagree to whether drugs actually “cause” crime or whether, instead, criminal activity leads to drug environment - Environment impact is a consequence of the cultivation of marijuana, cocaine, and opium - Colombian government estimates that during the decades of 1988 to 2008, nearly 5.4 million acres of rainforest were destroyed because of illegal drug production Structural Functionalism - Drugs are functional for select groups in society – income for sellers, relief for those in pain, jobs in criminal justice - Drugs are dysfunctional for select groups in society – cost to tax payers, children living in unstable environments, the environmental impact - Drug use may be from state of anomie but drug use can also create anomie Conflict - Drugs in poor urban and rural areas is a result of economic inequality - Penalties for drugs are not consistent across race and ethnicity – a clear sign of discrimination - Legal drugs and illegal drugs benefit different groups in society Symbolic Interactionism - Drug use arises from interaction with people who engage in drug use – first time experience is highly associated with continued use - Social meanings of drugs are learned. People learn to justify drug use attitudes that drug use is harmful - If the label “drug user” is internalized, drug use will continue or even escalate - Symbols are used to teach political and economic agendas related to drugs


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