Changing trends in drug use




Jacobs, Joycelyn Snider

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Sam Houston State University


The use of illegal drugs in the United States is a growing problem. Its significance as a major enemy to the social structure of American life is evidenced by its mounting widespread use and the numerous adverse effects stemming from it. The purpose of an in-depth study of drug use is to deal with the varying factors which both produce and result from drugs. Such a study requires intense investigation based upon the concepts of family structure, socio-economic status and other social and psychological factors which may produce some insight into the problem. For the purpose of establishing relevance, significant and cause-effect documentation, it is necessary to prevent a contrast and comparison of drug use in America as it evolved with growing urban problems. Particularly, one can see this intense progression of drug use by examining the previous two decades as opposed to the seventies. This was the time when the use of drug progressed beyond the previously defined borders of the lower-class, disadvantaged youth and rooted itself within the framework of the middle and upper-class family. This progression produced a most significant reaction from government experts and private citizens. In a sense, all out war was declared on drugs of all types with little consideration for the factors which led to drug use as later evidence will clearly indicate. From the criminologist’s point of view, it is best to establish a significant number of documented cases of drug use and to present common factors in these cases in an attempt to explain the cause of such widespread use. The main factors to consider are those of socio-economic status, family stability, intelligence and personal data which would indicate a common cause. Also, it is important to distinguish the types of drugs used by varying classes of users in order to understand the extent of the impact of these factors on drug use. The relevance of such a study is multi-faceted. It provides a basis upon which to analyze the drug problem, a perspective of the extent of the problem, and an educated idea of the needs for alternatives to remove or at least reduce the drug problem. It is significant if for no other reason than the vast number of American youths who are affected by or involved with drugs. For these reasons, this text will study available data on drug use in the previous two decades and compare it to that of the seventies. From this comparison, it is hoped that common factors will enlighten and involve the reader in the drug plague that exist in America. Essentially, These common factors can only come from an intense and massive presentation of all available data concerning the problem. No doubt, the problem exists and no doubt there is a demand for relieving this problem. This text attempts to at least begin such an action.



Drug abuse, Marijuana