Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: March 15, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939645 | Print ISBN: 9781412916080 | Online ISBN: 9781412939645| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this handbook
Chapter 42: The Sociology of Drug Use
The sociology of drug use Pharmacologists refer to substances that have an impact on thinking, feeling, mood, and perception as psychoactive. Humans have always ingested psychoactive substances. Higher organisms are neurologically hardwired to derive pleasure from the action of certain chemical substances. Psychoactive drugs, some powerfully so, activate pleasure centers of the brain, thereby potentiating continuing drug-taking behavior. People take drugs to experience the effects that come with their mind-active properties. The neurological/pharmacological factor addresses how and why drug-taking behavior got started, but it does not address the most sociologically relevant issues: differences in drug-taking behavior between and among societies, social categories, and individuals in the population, as well as among drug types. In addition, the predisposition to use is a necessary but not sufficient explanation of use. Use also presupposes the availability or supply of, or opportunity to take, a given drug. Without a predisposition to use, drug Moreover, ...