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Chapter 1
Explain how drug use is affected by biological, genetic, and pharmacological factors as well as
cultural, social, and contextual factors. Biologically, genetically, and pharmacologically different
drugs have a different effect on each persons nervous system and their personal experience
with it. Culturally a drug is initially viewed by society according to custom and traditions. Socially
the motivating factors for taking a specific drug are based on their need and a persons
experience with that specific drug and that includes illicit use and prescribed use. Contextually
the use of a drug depends on how the drug makes the person feel in social situations.
Explain when drugs were first used and under what circumstances. Most drugs were introduced
as prescriptive medicines before they were made illegal. Marijuana could be bought in over-thecounter pharmacies as early as 1850. However, the drug has existed for hundreds of years.
Methamphetamines became popular in the 1920s and they were distributed regularly to WWII
soldiers in order to combat fatigue and improve endurance and temperament.
Indicate how widespread drug use is and who the potential drug abusers are. Drug abuse is very
widespread. Everyone is a potential drug abuser.
List four reasons why drugs are used. (1) Legal instrumental use: prescribed or OTC medicines
that are used to treat or alleviate mental or physical symptoms. (2) Legal recreational use: licit
(or legal) drugs such as tobacco, alcohol, or caffeine that help to reach a certain mental or
psychic state. (3) Illegal instrumental use: taking drugs w/o a prescription in order to accomplish
a particular task or goal. Example would be taking amphetamine pills in order to stay awake (4)
Illegal recreational use: taking illicit drugs for pleasure or fun. Example is taking Ritalin as a
substitute of cocaine.
Rank in descending order, from most common to least, the most commonly used licit and illicit
drugs. Alcohol, cigarettes, any illicit drug, marijuana, cocaine, hallucinogens, pain relievers,
inhalants, stimulants, heroin.
Name three types of drug users, and explain how they differ.
Describe how the mass media promote drug use. The media is largely responsible for the peer
pressure that people succumb to.
Explain when drug use leads to abuse. Abuse occurs when a person becomes physically and/or
mentally addicted to a drug that is either illicit or licit.
List and explain the stages of drug dependence. Experimenters use drugs for recreational
purposes. Compulsive users have a psychological dependence on drugs. Floaters/chippers go
between the pleasure seeking and need to relieve moderate to serious psychological problems.
List the major findings regarding drugs and crime.
Define employee assistance programs and explain their role in resolving productivity problems.
Employee assistance programs are drug assistance programs for drug-dependent employees.
They help to resolve the issues such as workplace accidents and injuries, lost productivity,
absenteeism, low morale, and increased illnesses that are related to drug or alcohol use.
Explain the holistic self-awareness approach. The holistic approach stresses that nonmedical and
recreational drug use restricts the healthy balance between mind, body, and spirit.
Give an example of a drug-using friend and describe how he or she may be affected by
biological, genetic, pharmacological, cultural, social, and contextual factors. He/She will have a
different experience than his/her peers. Psychologically and physically he/she may be affected






differently. In social situations he/she may feel the need to use as a result of others using in
his/her presence. He/she may also be addicted to x drug both mentally and physically.
Discuss and debate whether the often considered "benign" drug known as marijuana is or is not
addictive. In your discussion/debate, consider the finding by the Substance Abuse and Mental
Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that in 2011 for persons age 12 or older, 41.9% of
illicit drug users million) used marijuana during their lifetime, and past-month users of this drug
accounted for 7% of all illicit drug users. Do you think this often-considered "benign" drug is
harmless to society? I do not believe the substance itself is addictive, especially considering
other illicit drugs. However, I do think that the mental and physical feeling that it gives a person
may cause them to feel like they need it both mentally and physically. I do not believe it is
harmless to society. A person that uses alcohol recreationally may act the same as they do when
theyre not under the influence. The person may be stable and not have health related issues
that would keep them from using alcohol. But there are people that do have problems when
they drink; they become belligerent, violent, drive under the influence and all around
irresponsible. I believe its the same with marijuana. While I do not have an issue with people
using the drug, I do have an issue with them using it while driving and operating other vehicles,
machinery, etc., around others. People drive under the influence of alcohol and it delays their
responses; the same thing happens with marijuana. And just as people drive under the influence
of alcohol, they will do the same with marijuana. Why give people another drug they can be
under the influence of while putting others at risk?
What is the future of prescription drug abuse? For example, how much will it increase in the
years to come? Do you think prescription drugs will ever become the drugs of choice? Will
prescription drug abuse ever surpass the use of marijuana? Prescription drug abuse will
continue to rise, namely because they are a drug of choice for many people. Unlike marijuana,
cocaine, methamphetamines, etc., these drugs are actually obtained legally. Because of our
countrys current stance on legalizing marijuana in quite a few states, its hard to say whether or
not prescription drug use will surpass the use of marijuana. If more states legalize marijuana, I
dont believe prescriptions will be used more; however, if marijuana continues to be illegal in
the majority of the U.S., yes I do believe it will surpass the use of marijuana.
Should parents be prosecuted for not guarding their legally prescribed drugs if their children are
caught using them? I believe the person that is prescribed the drugs should be responsible for
their safeguarding. It would be awfully hard to prove that children are using their parents
medications; but if they can prove it without a doubt, then yes, the parents should be held
In reviewing the ancient historical uses of drugs, how do you think drug use today is different
from back then? Explain your answer. While there is a wider range of drugs to choose from,
there isnt much difference in how they were used now versus then. Even a hundred years ago
drugs that were used for medicinal purposes were also used for recreational purposes. The
same thing holds true today. Just look at the 60s when MDMA was widely used to combat PTSD
in Vietnam veterans. People that hadnt even experienced any part of the war were using the
drug recreationally.
Why do Americans use so many legal drugs (for example, alcohol, tobacco, and OTC drugs)?
What aspects of our society could possibly cause such extensive drug use? Its not just
Americans using legal drugs, its all over the world. More specifically in larger countries. We use






them socially and it doesnt help that advertisements for alcohol are show regularly on
television and billboards. Which makes me think about tobacco advertisements and how they
stopped them. It doesnt make sense to continue to show alcohol adverts. Theyre both bad for
Table 1.3 shows that the amount of drug use remained stable from 2006 to 2011 (showing little
change in usage rates, except for very slight increases in 2009, 2010, and 2011 for past-month
usage for ages 18-25 years). Cite two reasons why you think this stable trend has occurred
despite the media campaigns against drug use promoted by private organizations, state
governments, and the federal government and all the efforts of law enforcement organizations.
Availability and education have probably discouraged new users and those that were using
drugs and those that have used probably continued to do so.
Because many casual and experimental drug users do not gravitate toward excessive drug use,
should these two groups be left alone or perhaps be given legal warnings or fines? How should
recreational drug users be treated by society? I am of the position that if a drug is illegal, it
doesnt matter whether a person is a casual or experimental user. We are all aware of the
consequences of drug use. I dont believe they should be given warnings, I believe they should
get fines on the 1st offense, with no exceptions (regardless of amount, quantity, etc.).
Do the mass media promote drug use, or do they merely reflect our extensive use of drugs?
Provide some evidence for your position. I think in some ways mass media does promote drug
use. A drug by definition is substance that has a psychological effect on when introduced into
the body. In saying that, alcohol is also a drug. When we are plied with the medias
sensationalism of alcohol, particularly during sporting events. Its impressionable on the younger
generation. It is peer pressure without a physical body. What makes it worse is when we see it
on social media. And lets be honest social media is mass medias wicked hand in some ways.
We as a society are all influenced from what we wear, to the items we buy based on media.
When Facebook paired up with AdSense, they practically stalk everything you search for on the
internet. Those adverts show up in your news feed; so the use of drugs (alcohol) does reflect
back to the user. As for much harder drugs, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, etc., I dont think mass
media really has an effect on us, because those things cant be advertised.
At exactly what point do you think drug use leads to abuse? When do you think drug use does
not lead to abuse? Anytime that you use a drug theres a potential for abuse. And just because
marijuana is not synthesized, it doesnt mean people do not become psychologically dependent
on it. Any time a person uses a drug repeatedly and you form any type of addiction (whether its
mental or physical), then youre abusing it. If youre health deteriorates, you cannot pay your
bills, you think about the drug often, then you have a problem with it. The only drug that I would
say that you may not lead to abuse is alcohol, and thats the casual drinker. I drink maybe twice
a year, if that. I could possibly see that someone that is a casual drug user (marijuana not
included) may not have a problem, however synthetic drugs can kill you even with one use and
theyre highly addictive.
What do you believe is the relationship between drug use and crime? Does drug use cause crime
or is crime simply a manifestation of personality? I think it all depends on the person. If a person
is wealthy and can afford drugs, then their crimes would be because of their personality or want
to commit a crime. But those that do drugs and do not have money for their next fix may





commit crimes that they never wouldve otherwise committed if they didnt have drug
problems. But I do think drug use and crime go hand-in-hand; money doesnt last forever.
What principal factors are involved in the relationship between drugs and crime? Drug users are
more likely to commit crimes versus those that are not drug users. Large percentage of those
arrested are often under the influence. High percentage of drug users that have a previous
history of drug and violent behavior arrests are more likely to be under the influence. Large
percentage of those under the influence have been arrested for property crimes and public
order offenses.
Should all employees be randomly tested for drug use? If not, which types of employees or
occupations should randomly drug test? Yes, all employees should be randomly tested for drug
use. In every occupation a person could put a fellow co-worker at risk for an accident if they are
using drugs.
List and rank order at least three things you found very interesting regarding drug use in this
Should all students and faculty be randomly drug tested at their schools and universities? Why
or why not? To an extent, yes. A lot of schools are practically funded by their athletic teams. If a
team is using anabolic steroids, they could put themselves in danger when participating in
extracurricular activities. Not only that, but most of them are smuggled in from other countries
and additives could be even more fatal. Teachers, obviously, should be made to take drug tests.
Theyre there to educate and be role-models for their students.
Do you think the holistic self-awareness approach advocated by the authors regarding drug use
is a viable one that can be used successfully for stopping drug use? Why or why not? What, if
any, additional improvements can be made to strengthen this approach? In some ways yes,
some no. Holistic approaches to drug use can help a user to not want the drug mentally.
However, physically, it may not help them. If you give someone a placebo in place of a narcotic,
if theyre a long-term user, they are still going to experience physical withdrawal symptoms
even though they may not experience any mental issues. If it were a casual user, yes holistic
approaches would help, because theyre presumably not addicted to the drug in question. If you
give someone a vapor e-cig with no tobacco and theyre a casual user, they will not see any
difference. But if you have a regular tobacco user and give them an e-cig with no nicotine, they
will have headaches, be irritable, etc. I think the only way that holistic approach could be useful
is if the medicine can mimic the same properties (as it pertains to the high it gives) as the real