Second, when shorter time-frame measures are utilised, strong evidence for the normalisation thesis is even more elusive. For some, regular contact with drugs and drug users was part of their everyday lives. Finally, we have suggested that the normalisation thesis pays inadequate attention to the normative context of behaviour. At the basis of these neutralisation techniques was the claim that there were no really serious consequences from the drug s being used, and, by implication, that the user was making responsible and rational choices: It wouldn’t bother me if I found out about John 4 like I know he puffs a draw [cannabis] and I know he don’t touch anything else, but if he did like, once he told me he tried a bit of coova [cocaine] and I didn’t talk to him for ages because the way I look at it, it’s disgusting. Clearly, rising rates of drug use among young people must be taken seriously. There has been a tendency for self-reported behaviour to be taken at face value and for insufficient emphasis to be placed on the normative context of that behaviour.
Some of what respondents said about drugs took on the form of ‘urban legends’ and constitutes a form of modern sub- cultural folklore Brunvand Quantity and Quality in Social Research. Relationships with brothers and sisters were felt to be of a higher order than those with friends and, in the case of younger siblings, respondents felt they had a certain authority and responsibility which they lacked in relation to their friends. The way I do it, I don’t get addicted. Say you found out that the 18 year old brother [brother] was going drugs, maybe he is, what would you do? I’d probably go mad.
Relationships with brothers and sisters were felt to be of a higher order than those with friends and, in the case of younger siblings, respondents felt they had a normalisaion authority and responsibility which they lacked in relation to their friends.
According to Becker The drug-using experience of twelve of them was limited to cannabis which, as well as being the most widely used drug, was also the most frequently used: Belief, Attitude, Intervention and Behaviour: At the outset of the study it was thought possible although unlikely that involvement in such a workshop would transform the drug related attitudes and behaviour of participants.
What the authors meant by ‘regular’ use is not clearly defined. I won’t take no hard drugs.
Normative behaviour is not necessarily the most frequently occurring pattern but is that which conforms to popular expectation. Although there is quite strong empirical evidence that the proportion of young people using drugs at some point in their lives is growing, there is little evidence to support the contention that it is so widely accepted as to be normal.
I wouldn’t [try cannabis] because I don’t want to get hooked into anything. While it is not unusual for individuals to have experienced drug use by their mid to late teens, this trend should not be treated uncritically.
The inflexibility of lifetime measures means that they cannot capture the processual character of people’s drug-use Becker If they [people] take drugs they’re the ones that are going to suffer at the end, that’s all I can say because they shouldn’t have got into that mess in the first place, that’s what I think.
Keep healthy, you can think better, you can sit there and you can think, puff a draw [cannabis] and you might forget things, put a pen thewis there and completely forget about it. In this way, they have parmers, for example, to ‘the normalisation of recreational drug use amongst English adolescents and the adult outrage it engenders’ Social scientists are not the only commentators to claim that drug use is becoming normalised among the young.
There’s a couple of rough people around, they just take trips [LSD] and things like that but I don’t really hang around with them kind of people because they’re not worth hanging about with.
Trends in young people’s use of specific substances give the lie to the idea that ‘illegal substances’ somehow have some generic property in the eyes of young people. Like I don’t want to destroy myself, ruining your lungs, damaging your brain cells, so it ain’t worth it, it ain’t worth damaging yourself just to have a laugh. This is a classic neutralisation technique for, as Coggans and McKellar have noted, ‘the assumption that drug use is caused by peer pressure places the nomralisation on others and away from the drug user’ The Journal on Drug Misuse in Britain, 8.
Measures which aggregate a variety of different drugs simplify the decisions that young people make and fail to acknowledge the discerning approach many young people take towards drug use.
Has drug use among young people become normalised? – GCSE Sociology – Marked by
Second, when shorter time-frame measures are utilised, strong evidence for the normalisation thesis is even more elusive. What is meant by ‘normalisation’?
Related articles in Google Scholar. Lifetime use 2 of cocaine was limited to 4 and 3 per cent of Parker et al.
I wouldn’t [try cannabis] because Normalisatiom don’t want to get hooked into anything. Turning tnesis the national position, over a third 36 per cent of the ISRD respondents all of whom were aged reported ever having used a drug Graham and Bowling Given the existence of large-scale surveys, we are in a much better position than previously to estimate levels of illicit drug use.
Research has also provided empirical support for the frequently-made claim that drug use by young people is on the increase.
Has drug use among young people become normalised?
In part, the exaggeration is a consequence of the measures used. American Sociological Review Two-thirds of their respondents thought taking cannabis was thesos very serious offence. British Crime Survey England and Wales: Two-thirds of their respondents thought taking cannabis was a very serious offence. According to Becker That young people distinguish between different drugs is clearly reflected in their patterns of use.