• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Has drug use among young people become normalised?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

SOCIAL POLICY - SA300 EMILIA IORDANOU Q) Has drug use among young people become normalised? The aims of this essay are to firstly, define what 'drug use' entails and how often young people use drugs. Then secondly to find out what drugs are being taken. Ultimately it is necessary to see whether drug use is increasing and therefore becoming 'normalised.' Is it true to argue that drug use has become a common act among young people, who see it as a 'normal' part of life? 'Illicit' or illegal drugs come from three different class types. Type A drugs are the most harmful and arguably the most difficult to obtain. Examples include cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, LSD etc. Type B drugs are mainly amphetamines, which are classed as less harmful as the Type A drugs. Type C drugs are the least harmful and are perhaps the easiest to obtain, for example cannabis is a type C drug and it is the most widely used drug amongst young people. Research suggests that young people regard cannabis in the same way that they regard alcohol and tobacco. This indicates that drug use has become normalised amongst young people. ...read more.

Middle

reported taking cannabis.11 Therefore, this suggests that perhaps drug taking is a social act more popular with the wealthier youths, as drugs are fairly expensive. This is especially so for the harder drugs, e.g. heroin and cocaine. These are expensive drug habits to feed once addicted, and it was found that they were in fact more widely used in private schools.12 Parker et al. (1995) argued that youth in the 1990's grew up in and with a new level of drug availability. Whether or not they became drug users is their decision, yet it is a decision based on peer group pressures also.13 The media plays a large part in drug use among youths. As Blackman (1996) states, 'Consumer capitalism plays a central role in the marketing of drug referenced products as part of young peoples leisure and lifestyle.'14 Images within youth culture are drug influenced; for example, many rap songs contain lyrics about drugs. Films also have drug story lines, e.g. Basketball Diaries, where the main character is a heroin addict. Some clothes labels also promote drug use, e.g. jeans and t-shirts with logos of men smoking marijuana etc. Even if individuals do not choose to use the drugs widely available, we live in a 'cultural, media and consumption environment saturated by references to ...read more.

Conclusion

men are more likely to report drug use than women.24 This shows evidence that perhaps drug use has not become normalised among youths. It is important to mention that there are different norms for cannabis/marijuana to harder drugs like cocaine, so it is difficult and inaccurate to generalise by saying that 'drug use has become normalised amongst youth.' Shiner and Newburn (1997, 1999) believe that the normalisation thesis exaggerates the extent of drug use by young people, and over simplifies the ways in which young people perceive drug use.25 In addition, the claim that 'drug taking by young people has become normalised simplifies the choices that young people make about drug use.'26 Finally, Shiner and Newburn (1997, 1999) argue that the normalisation thesis 'pays inadequate attention to the normative context of behaviour.' Generally, young people do view drug use as a problematic activity. Their views on drug use are similar to that of non-users.27 To conclude, this essay has argued both for and against for the 'normalisation of drug use among youth today.' Based on all this evidence, studies etc, found, it can be concluded that drug use has become normalised among young people, although not for all drugs. It is clear that cannabis is increasing in popularity especially among youths, yet drugs like cocaine are far from being 'normalised. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Should drugs be legalized in the UK?

    3 star(s)

    Drugs are not all the same. Different drugs have different dangers associated with them. 1. Some drugs (such as alcohol, heroin and tranquillisers) have a sedative effect which slows down the way the body and brain function. These sedative drugs can lead to fatal overdose if a lot is taken.

  2. Abortion among teens

    The most common surgical method for an abortion is when the embryo or fetus is suctioned out by using a manual syringe, known as a Manual vacuum aspiration or by the electric pump that is known as an Electric vacuum aspiration.

  1. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

    Sephy does not realise what he means but Callum says, "You're on the inside, Sephy. I'm not." This quote shows how Callum feels some resentment towards the crosses (dark-skinned people). At this point the main reason is the fact that he, a nought (white skin)

  2. James Gilligan's Thesis on Violence

    Emotions are also discussed from the results of class stratification such as "embarrassment, humility, and shame". Concluding later in discussion how class and social segregation and social phenomenon is the cause of structural violence and not biological phenomenon. "Structural violence is the causing of harm by inflexibility and rigidity of the rules of the structure in dealing with difference."

  1. Active Citizenship

    Another lesson I have learnt whilst on the expedition is that if my approach to a problem, I need to change it in order to successfully achieve my goals. With this knowledge I have gained, if I were to encounter a similar situation like that one, or if I may

  2. Theory and Practice of Work with Young People

    (Smith, 2001, www.infed.org/i-intro.htm). Whilst I would agree with Mark Smiths definition of informal education there is and has been an enormous diversity of opinions, theories and explanations of exactly what sort of community we need for people to be happy and fulfilled. Smith's assertion that the role of informal educators is to work

  1. The consumer society: Has the signification of the product become more important than its ...

    Conversely, there are individuals that have been brought up with concepts of 'education' and 'mental labour'. 'They are certain of obtaining daily necessities which cultivates a distance from these needs, and affects a taste based in respect and desire for the abstract, distanced and formal.

  2. Speech Smoking

    All these contributed to the prosperity of the middle class and a new style of business, where before the industrial revolution, most work gangs like slaves in the mines and agricultural plantations had been relatively unspecialized. Industrialization also led to an increase in the output of goods that required a new system of management and investment.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work