The Normalization Debate: Adolescent Recreational Drug Use in Contemporary Society
Coomber, R., McElrath, K., Measham, F. & Moore, K. (2013) 'Chapter 14: Normalisation', in Dictionary of Key Concepts in Drugs and Society. London: Sage. pp. 72-76.
• When it comes to drug use, normalisation refers to a process of behavioral and cultural change in which drug use is accepted or allowed to some extent by both users and non-users in society;
• There are six key features of normalisation - The first measure is drug availability, or how many people are in circumstances where drugs are provided or available to them; The second measure is drug testing, which is commonly expressed as self-reported lifetime prevalence; Third, there's a current measure of drug usage, however how that's defined varies between research; Fourth, for both teenage drug users and non-users, questions concerning future goals should be posed to see whether there is a sense of being open to the prospect of future experimentation; The fifth measurement was the amount to which people were drugwise and familiar with drugs, or culturally informed about them; Sixth, the concept contained the idea of society cultural acceptance of illegal drug use, which is a key sign of normalisation;
• The idea of normalisation has evolved from a macro-level examination of shifting attitudes and behaviors throughout society to a micro-level examination of its significance in the lives of individual drug users;
• Shiner and Newburn criticized the idea of normalisation in a criticism, arguing that too much emphasis was placed on lifetime prevalence and recency data on young people's experimentation at the expense of far lower figures on regular usage.
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- The Normalization Debate: Adolescent Recreational Drug Use in Contemporary Society