Cultural and Subcultural

Cultural and Subcultural Correlates of Drug Abuse

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Cultural and Subcultural Correlates of Drug Abuse

Chapter nine focuses on drug abuse linkages with social cultures and subcultures. Drug subculture refers to the social setting of a drug and for all drug types, there is a social context surrounding it. Some drug users use drugs while in the company of other people, while others do it alone. Worth noting, drug subcultures mostly occur in places where drugs are strongly disapproved of or illegal. Some of the problems associated with societies where drugs are socially disproved include obtaining the drugs, managing spoiled identities, avoiding health risks, and avoiding arrest and detention. There is a degree of value consensus that comes with belonging to a drug subculture. With a progressive group involvement comes value convergence. The use of drugs is critical in maintaining group cohesion and reaffirming the social bond. For the participants, the subculture view provides a legitimate basis for identity, and they tend to define themselves based on the activity they participate in such as bar happing and hookah bar patrons.

The text examines three main subcultures: the street heroin subculture, the blunts subculture, and the salvia subculture. The street heroine subculture comprises of inner-city individuals and young people. They use boundary-maintenance mechanisms to distinguish between “in-groups” and “out-groups.” Worth noting, heroine users tend to be mostly skilled entrepreneurs that possess highly sophisticated knowledge and talents. The blunts subculture emerged in the late 1980s in New York due to a marijuana scarce market. It indicated that most early marijuana users were African American, African Caribbean, or Latino Youth. The Salvia subculture, in the other hand, is still in the process of formation. Salvia divinorum is still gaining popularity in the United States. The majority of Salvia users are young adults or college students. The nature of drug-using careers depends on how the drug is used and the type of drug used. Drug-using careers tend to unfold over time, and drug users tend to eventually settle on their main hustle. Occasional users tend to influence non-using friends just like one would share a cigarette with a friend. Stable addicts often struggle to maintain a successful criminal addict lifestyle and their main hustles and criminal specialties are cultivated at this time. Unprecedented levels of drug consumption characterize Free-wheeling addiction. Most free-wheeling addicts are not in control of their habits. The street drug addict is characterized by low availability and low life structure. This situation is mostly triggered by an eroded life structure like the loss of a job, divorce, or death of a spouse or loved one.

Summary of Article Relating to Chapter 10

The Role of Perceived Belongingness to a Drug Subculture among Opioid-Dependent Patients

This article aims to discuss the effect that the subculture of belongingness has on patients that are dependent on opioids. The text notes that the use of illicit drugs frequently takes place within a drug subculture characterized by feelings of excitement, alienation from mainstream society, and social ties with other drug users. Literature identifies that subculture is a barrier to recovery (Moshier, McHugh, Calkins, Hearon, Rosellini, Weitzman, & Otto, 2012). The study describes psychometric and development properties of the Belongingness to Drug Culture Questionnaire (BDCQ). Ninety-six opioid-dependent subjects completed the BDCQ that included assessment of drug use patterns and self-related measures. The self-report showed a high internal consistency within the last 30 days that was associated with impulsivity, desire to quit, psychopath, and social and enhancement drug use motives. The article relates to the text in chapter ten because it mentions how social ties influences drug subcultures. The kind of people drugs users interact with within their subculture is important as it gives them a sense of belonging. Both texts agree that drug use reinforces alienation from society. In my opinion, drug subcultures play an important role in drug use. Therefore, it is important to be wary of the social environment we maintain because the company we keep can either make us or break us.


Moshier, S. J., McHugh, R. K., Calkins, A. W., Hearon, B. A., Rosellini, A. J., Weitzman, M. L., & Otto, M. W. (2012). The role of perceived belongingness to a drug subculture among opioid-dependent patients. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 26(4), 812–820.