What's the attraction? Social connectedness as a driver of recreational drug use

Mey, Amary, Plummer, David, Anoopkumar-Dukie, Shailendra, and Domberelli, Amber (2018) What's the attraction? Social connectedness as a driver of recreational drug use. Journal of Substance Use, 23 (3). pp. 327-334.

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Background: Licit and illicit drugs are commonly used for recreational purposes, with users viewing them as a relatively safe and acceptable leisure activity. This study proposes key drivers for better understanding the attractions of recreational drugs and factors that underwrite their popularity.

Method: In-depth interviews were conducted with key informants whose roles were to share their experiences and to act as field observers of the complex scenarios and contexts that constitute the recreational drug scene in Gold Coast Region of Australia. Data were analyzed using a grounded theory approach.

Results: Recreational drug use takes place in complex social settings and entails extensive codes and practices. Two ascribed benefits underpinned recreational drug use: (1) improved social connectedness and (2) enhanced performance. This paper reports on the relationship between recreational drug use and social connectedness.

Discussion and conclusions: Enhanced social connectedness seems to contribute to the attractiveness and acts as a potent force underpinning recreational drug use. This research suggests that harm mitigation strategies must speak to a wider audience as well as address the social attraction of drugs because focusing on younger populations and antisocial features does not seem to reflect reality for recreational users.

Item ID: 53548
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1475-9942
Keywords: recreational drugs, social connectedness, codes of conduct
Copyright Information: © 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
Funders: HIV Foundation Queensland
Date Deposited: 09 May 2018 08:03
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420606 Social determinants of health @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920414 Substance Abuse @ 100%
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