Although use of some drugs is acceptable and legal for example, caffeine, prescription drugs for use by the person they were prescribed for , use of others is not. For the purposes of this entry, the focus is on the latter. Substance use and abuse refer to use of various types of drugs for nontherapeutic reasons and often to alter mood. Some of these substances may be legal to use and possess for some people but illegal for others. Other substances such as cocaine and marijuana are illegal when possessed and used, as well as manufactured, trafficked, and transported, by all Americans.
Use of substances is differentiated from abuse of substances. Abuse, on the other hand, is often characterized by a habitual and maladaptive pattern of drug use that involves adverse consequences associated with use of the substance. Abuse may lead to addiction, which typically involves chronic and compulsive use: but not all substance users or abusers become addicts. Substance use and abuse is an important area of crime.
Not all substance use and abuse, however, leads to involvement in other types of crime. Yet, the use and abuse of many substances, as well as behaviors engaged in while under their influence and to obtain them, are themselves criminal acts. These types of offenses result in many arrests, incarceration, involvement in drug courts, and drug treatment concerns.
In total, arrests for substance-abuse-related crimes represent more than one-third of arrests in any given year, and they entail substantial efforts at detection by law enforcement. A substantial percentage of prison populations, especially in the federal system, are devoted to offenders arrested for substance abuse violations. Thus, because substance abuse and related behaviors are often linked to other forms of crime, as well as being crimes themselves, this is an important area of consideration in criminology as well as other disciplines, including public health.
There are several general treatments that provide overviews of the relationships between substance use and abuse and crime. Inciardi and McElrath provides a comprehensive overview of definitions, various types of substances, as well as a discussion of drug-policy issues. Goode is a useful textbook on similar topics.
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Both Inciardi and McElrath and Goode are accessible for undergraduates, and the former is useful for graduate students as well. White and Gorman provides a comprehensive albeit chapter-length discussion of major issues in the area; it is also accessible for graduate students. Goode, Erich. Drugs in American society , 7th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill. The book provides an overview of drug policies and use throughout American history, including theories of drug use from biological, psychological, and sociological perspectives, and of the illicit drug industry; it briefly addresses data sources, drug policies, and control; and several of its chapters discuss different drugs, with another covering drugs and the media.
Inciardi, James A. The American drug scene: An anthology. New York: Oxford Univ. Sections address theoretical perspectives on drug use and addiction; provide background on different substances of abuse for example, alcohol, marijuana, opiates , the drugs-crime connection, drug treatment, and drug-policy issues. White, Helene Raskin, and D. Dynamics of the drug-crime relationship. But the papers offer recurrent evidence that the concept and related terms were already fairly often resorted to in policy arguments in earlier decades, even if the concepts and terms were not fully naturalised in the society.
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Edman and Ols-son , in particular, show that Swedish official committees time and again resorted to the concept and associated terms as a form of what Edman and Stenius have termed "conceptual carpentry" - as tools in arguments for predetermined policy preferences at particular historical moments, even if the use, as Edman and Olsson remark, was often "somewhat vacuous".
For Sweden in particular, but to a lesser extent also for the Nordic countries in general, the papers in this issue suggest a radical split in recent decades: a pragmatic form of rationality has ruled for tobacco, while symbolic rationality has been dominant for drugs. The Swedish leadership on nicotine substitution therapy documented by Elam is matched by Sweden's lone position as the only country in the European Union in which snus, a smokeless tobacco with the carcinogens removed, can be legally sold - a policy which can be argued to have been a pragmatic and strong harm reduction measure Gartner et al.
On the other hand, symbolic considerations can be argued to have dominated in the Swedish and Norwegian commitment to a drug-free society as the aim of drug policies Tham, In Finland in recent years, on the other hand, Hakkarain-en has argued that the situation has reversed: tobacco policy has become more driven by symbolism Hakkarainen, , while pragmatic rationality in the form of harm reduction measures has got a strong footing in drug policy Hakkarainen et al, In the papers in this issue, illustrations can be found of the usefulness of an addiction conceptualisation in the arguments for both kinds of rationality.
As we have noted, an addiction concept can be used both as an argument for harm reduction and as an argument that the stakes are too high for ordinary pragmatic measures. Bruun, K. Finland - the non-medical case. Bell Eds. Sydney, Australia, February, , pp. Australia: Butterworths. Caplow, T. Old Men Drunk and Sober. Christie, N. Temperance Boards and interinstitutional dilemmas: a case study of a welfare law. Social Problems, 12 4 , Cooper, S. Vancouver group pitches free booze to reduce rubbing alcohol, Listerine consumption. National Post, 10 January. Courtwright, D.
ATOD's wild ride: what do alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs have in common? Edman, J.
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The Swedish drug problem: Conceptual understanding and problem handling Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 31 , Conceptual carpentry as problem handling: the case of drugs and coercive treatment in social democratic welfare regimes. International Journal of Drug Policy, 26 2 , ,.
Elam, M. From the birth of the Smokers' Clinic to the invention of Nicorette: Problematizing smoking as addiction in Sweden Eriksen, S. Drunken Danes and sober Swedes? Religious revivalism and the Temperance Movements as keys to Danish and Swedish folk cultures. Strath Ed. Gothenburg: Gothenburg University. Fleming, R. The management of chronic alcoholism in England, Scandinavia and Central Europe.
New England Journal of Medicine, 7 , Gartner, C. Should the health community promote smokeless tobacco snus as a harm reduction measure? PLoS Medicine, 4 7. Hakkarainen, P. Tobacco Road Finland - How did an accepted pleasure turn into an avoidable risk behavior? Dual-track drug policy: Normalization of the drug problem in Finland.
Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy 14, Hellman, M. The implication of the concept "nikotiiniriippuvuus" in the Finnish tobacco discussion. Houborg, E. Construction and handling of drug problems in Denmark from the s to the s.
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Moeller, K. The freedom to drink and the freedom to sell drink: a hundred years of Danish alcohol control policy. Journal of Policy History, 24 3 , Olsson, B. Introduction: Nordic traditions of studying the impact of alcohol policies. Room Ed. Roizen, R. How does the nation's 'alcohol problem' change from era to era? Stalking the social logic of problemdefinition transformations since Repeal. Acker Eds. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press. Governing images in public discourse about problematic drinking.
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Chichester, UK, etc. Room, R. Symbolism and rationality in the politics of psychoactive substances. In: Lindgren, B. Amsterdam, etc.
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Addiction concepts and international control. Social History of Alcohol and Drugs 20, Medicalization of the social perspective: Changing conceptualizations of drug problems in Finnish social care and substance abuse treatment. Sffib0, G. Away with tobacco? On the early understandings of tobacco as a problem and the associated attempts at political regulation of tobacco Skretting, A. Governmental conceptions of the drug problem: A review of Norwegian governmental papers Stenius, K.
Contemporary Drug Problems, 39 3 , Sulkunen, P.
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PhD monograph, Sociology. Studia Sociologica Upsaliensis Uppsala: Uppsala University Library. Tham, H.