1. How do we measure the prevalence of drug use in the UK?
The prevalence of drug use in the United Kingdom is measured by surveys conducted amongst the youths of secondary schools years 7-11. The NHS Information Centre in the UK conducts this survey. The survey is done anonymously amongst the schools all across the UK. General household surveys are also conducted. However this is not always an accurate description of drug use due to the fact that most people may not be entirely truthful on a survey or are missed completely because they are not in conventional housing units, thereby not being included in the survey at all.
There are also a couple of indirect methods of estimating the prevalence of Drug use in the UK. This includes capture-recapture method, Multiplier Methods, Event-based multipliers, Synthetic estimations, Truncated Poisson, and back calculation. Capture-recapture method is the collection of two or more sources of date on problematic drug users and the number of people that occur in more than one data source. Multiplier method is ratio-estimation, event-based multipliers is the number of people who have been in treatment, and synthetic estimations is a combination of the two. Truncated Poisson relies on one data source, and back calculation is using AIDS to measure the prevalence of Heroin.
Fuller, Elizabeth. Smoking, drinking, and drug use among young people in England 2011. NatCen Social Research. 2011.http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB06921/smok-drin-drug-youn-peop-eng-2011-rep2.pdf
2. Why is Dutch cannabis policy described as a legal ‘grey area’?
The Dutch Cannabis Policy is described as a legal ‘grey area’ because although the drugs may be outlawed at some point, they are not prosecuted under certain conditions. For example, coffee shops are allowed to sell and distribute cannabis and receive it from many different sources, however if the THC levels are above 15% or if it is a different kind of cannabis called hashish, it may fall under a criminal offense to carry and use the product. The Dutch have decriminalized the possession of less than 5 grams of cannabis, however the recreational use of cannabis is still illegal, creating a legal grey area.
Some critics argue that if we let cannabis slide and become legalized will increase its use exponentially and give way to other drugs. By having a high risk of arrest associated with the use and sale of cannabis they think that it will act as a deterrent. However, this has been proving to be false (with the current war on drugs in the United States). The Dutch shops still in fact sell it and, although it is not legal, not strictly enforced by Dutch law, therefore making it a grey area.
MacCoun, Robert.; Reuter, Peter. Interpreting Dutch Cannabis Policy: Reasoning by Analogy in the Legalization Debate. Science. 278 (5335) 47-52. 1997.
3. Provide a brief example of a youth subculture that has links to drug use.
An example of a youth subculture that has links to drug use are the subculture of the music groups. The music scene provides a specific parallel to youth subcultures and the existence/ prevalence of drug use. This would include mods, punks, and ravers. Each in there own, they are associated with drug use. Ravers are associated with heavy drugs use such as MDMA or ecstasy and include youths ages as young as 13 and as old as early 20’s. Drugs can be easily trafficked into a club and distributed amongst the party goers. The drugs are dealt usually within the club and can be pretty elaborate. These drugs within this group of individuals then creates a violent culture if they don’t have the necessary means to get the drugs or become violent due to the drugs themselves.
The problem with rave parties and the rave subculture is that it provides means for a youth subculture to experience and take drugs, without knowing their side effects and the effects that they may have. Ravers are found to exhibit behavior that doesn’t exist outside its own youth subculture.
Scott, Michael S. Rave Parties. Problem-Oriented Guides for Police Training. US Department of Justice. No. 14. 2002.
4. How is the possession of ‘resilience’ thought to help to negate the effects of having a drug using parent?
The possession of resilience thought helps individuals negate the effects of having a drug-using parent by increasing the power of protective thinking and reducing the risk factors. Having a drug-addicted parent is a huge risk factor for adolescence and contributes greatly to drug addiction of teenagers. By reducing this risk the child will develop healthier habits and reduce the use of drugs. With help form the community and positive role models, a youth may possess resilient thinking and know understand and recognize the power of the effect that a drug-using parent may have on them. Educating the children on the effects of drugs and having an outlet for them are important factors in resilient thinking and negate the effects of having a drug using parent.
When an adolescent youth has possession of ‘resilient’ thought he or she in some form or another rises above the parents and realizes their mistakes. By reinforcing this ‘resilient thought’ it helps to negative the effects and the child can live a normal, happy life.
Hawkins, J.D., Lishner, D.M.; and Catalano, R.F. "Childhood Predictors and the Prevention of Adolescent Substance Abuse." In Etiology of Drug Abuse: Implications for Prevention. NIDA Research Monograph 56. A Research Analysis and Utilization System Review Report, 1985
5. What is meant by ‘positive deviance’ in relation to the behavior of athletes?
Positive Deviance in relation to the behavior of athletes refers to the way athletes deviate their behavior and do harmful things to themselves in order to conform to principles set by the sport itself. They engage in extremely problematic behavior in order to conform to the normalcies of the sport. They engage in activities and behavior that willingly sacrifices their bodies in the pursuit of approval of society and sporting enthusiasts as a whole. It is the over conformity of the sport ethic by the individual athlete.
Athletes are told time, time and again that they must meet certain standards or they will fail so they will make those standards by any means necessary. They must define adversity as a challenge and this behavior encourages some athletes to overconform to these norms in ways seen as deviant within society as a whole and even within the governing bodies of sport itself. They are taught that “pain is only temporary” or “pain is weakness leaving the body”.
Hughes, Robert; Coakley, Jay. Positive Deviance Among Athletes: The Implications of Overconformity to the Sport Ethic. Sociology of Sport Journal. Vol 8. 307-325. 1991.