There is no culture in the history of mankind that did not ever use some kind (kinds) of drugs. Despite the well-known consequences of drug addiction, millions of people constantly consume different legal and illegal drugs. Affecting people's mind and changing their behavior, drugs become one of the most threatening factors of social risk, resulting in increasing rates of mortality, aggressive and criminal behavior, and dissolution of social ties. This paper is devoted to comparison of social science outcome characteristics for two of the most commonly used drugs in the groups of legal and illegal drugs--alcohol in the first and marijuana in the second. It is argued that hardly any of two can be seen preferable over the other, and both have negative impact on the society through changing the behavior of individuals consuming them.
Social problems of drug abuse or, more correctly, substance abuse (Timmons & Hamilton), can be divided into two groups. The first consists of problems resulting from the phenomenon of drug addiction, which are similar for any kind of drugs that caused this addiction. The second has to do with particular patterns of changed behavior and medical problems affecting someone's social position, characteristic for different kinds of drugs both immediately after intoxication and in long-term perspective.
The symbolic interactionism theory does not depend on the drug but how people interpret the drug. Physicians may view a drug as a way to help people with an illness. Police usually see a drug (including alcohol) as a menace to society. Alcohol is usually accepted as a social interaction in the United States , as well as other countries.
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...ase control study. Psychological Medicine. vol.33. 2003. pp.1415-1422
Leshner, Alan I. The Essence of Drug Addiction. NIDA - National Institute on Drug Abuse. National Institute of Health, 2001. Online at http://www.drugabuse.gov/Published_Articles/Essence.html
Marijuana Facts. HEALTHMOON. Online at http://www.geocities.com/healthmoon/smoking-marijuana/facts.htm
Marijuana. NIDA InfoFacts, 2004. Online at http://www.nida.nih.gov/Infofax/marijuana.html
Myths About Alcohol For Teens. MADD. Online at http://www.madd.org/under21/0,1056,1157,00.html
Say it Straight! Marijuana Myth vs. Fact. State of Washington Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen, 2004. Online at http://www.ltgov.wa.gov/Publications/2004%20Marijuana%20Brochure.pdf Timmons, Robin C. & Hamilton, Leonard. Drugs, Brains and Behavior. 1990. Online at http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/0.000000e+00lwh/drugs/
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