Talking Drug Abuse


In many cultures, drug use is considered deviant under the following circumstances:
(1) Effects on Health of Individual
The culture sees the integrative use of beer, opium, coffee, etc., as improving the lives and work efficacy of members of the society. Sometimes, as in the case of alcohol and tobacco, such drug-taking behavior may have adverse effects on health yet the society may not consider it as a drug problem. In the case of other drugs, such behavior would be considered deviant, and hence drug problem.
(2) Work Efficiency
If a given drug minimizes the work efficiency in a person it is considered that the person has a drug problem. For example, amotivational syndrome with cannabis and opium.
(3) Deviant-use
A drug when not partaken in socially acceptable form is taken as a sign of drug problem in that person. For example, taking codeine for medical purposes is socially acceptable but using it to get “high” is not acceptable. The use of the latter is often considered pathological.
(4) Degree of Commercialization
It is the degree to which illicit traffic exists. For example, giving opium and marijuana to children during the war was considered a socially acceptable norm in Pakistan and Liberia respectively until recently. When war ceased the practice gradually dwindled and traffic in them was considered deviant.
Over the years, drugs became commercialized (illegally made available) to a significant proportion. Its use by society is perceived as deviant. That perhaps explains why the NDLEA was created.
(to be continued…)

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