In this highly resourceful article, the authors embark on unnerving the truth behind anecdotal reports of an unprecedented shift in the abuse of heroin from the minority population in low-income urban regions to the affluent and rich white population living in prestigious rural and suburban areas. This influx in mainstream media reports that the white population is indulging more in heroin abuse in the country has triggered a lot of interest. The authors conduct a research to fully ascertain the accuracy of these reports by studying this revolution in the use of heroin in the US. It is important to understand the latest trends about heroin use in the country. The information is relevant in directing national resources towards curbing the increase of heroin users in the society. Furthermore, if the presumed change in heroin users is actually occurring, the government and other concerned stakeholders can shift their focus towards this affluent suburban white population and work towards reducing the spread of heroin abuse (Cicero, Ellis, Surratt, & Kurtz, 2014).
The authors therefore designed an ingenious research design that enabled them to gain vital data pertaining to the abuse of heroin in the US. There were two primary research methods employed. First and foremost, the authors critically analyzed data derived from ongoing research projects on drug use patterns in the country among patients seeking for substance abuse treatment in rehabilitation centers. They selected the research projects that utilized structured self-administered surveys to retrieve information from participants. This data provided a general overview of the worst affected section of the American population, when it comes to heroin abuse. The second research method involved seeking data from interviews conducted with selected patients. The interviews were unstructured and qualitative in nature. They also offered valuable insights on the current trends in heroin usage in the US (Cicero, Ellis, Surratt, & Kurtz, 2014).
The data derived from the two research methods discussed above played a very significant role in pointing out the current demographics of heroin users in the country. To understand whether there is this presumed change, the authors compared this data with past statistics gathered throughout the past decade. In the end, it was satisfactorily proven that there exists a gradual change in the face of heroin use in the country. Past statistics indicated that most heroin users emanated from impoverished neighborhoods, especially in urban centers. Before the 1980s, the number of white and non-white heroin users was relatively equal. However, in the modern society the data revealed that a whopping 90% of heroin users who started abusing heroin within the past 10 years were white. Therefore, the authors concluded that there is absolute truth in the anecdotal media reports (Cicero, Ellis, Surratt, & Kurtz, 2014).
Heroin use in the country has progressively grown to become a widespread national social phenomenon, rather than the traditional city menace. The white society in upscale neighborhoods now frequently abuse heroin. It is no longer a drug for the minority population in impoverished urban neighborhoods. In my opinion, the authors did an exemplary job in satisfactorily proving their thesis. I agree with their conclusion. The collected data is highly relevant and directly applicable to the issue at hand. Furthermore, the analysis of this gathered data enables the authors and the audience in general to fully comprehend the changing trends in heroin use in the country. This was a pristine and stellar effort from the authors.
Addiction and Sociality: Perspectives from Methamphetamine Users in Suburban USA
By Paul Boshears, Miriam Boeri and Liam Harbry
Journal Title: Addiction Research and Theory
August 2011; 19(4): 289-301
The authors of this article shed light on extent of methamphetamine abuse in the American society by getting insider insights from a total of 100 current and previous users of this drug. Methamphetamine is undoubtedly one of the highly abused drugs in the country. It is both affordable and easily accessible, making it an ideal drug for many Americans. Therefore, the authors strive to use the accounts and experiences provided by these current and previous methamphetamine users to determine what prompts the usage and most importantly, the addiction to this drug. The firsthand information derived from this study population provides very important data that can be used to unravel the underlying reasons why there are very high addiction rates to methamphetamine. In doing so, the authors provide a thorough overview of the social nature of methamphetamine (Boshears, Boeri, & Harbry, 2011).
The article begins by discussing addiction. It is a major societal problem that renders highly productive members of the society, especially the youth, to lead desperate lives of dependences. The authors refer to addiction as a chronic disease that slowly eats or corrupts the American society. Sadly, the addiction to methamphetamine is quite rampant all over the country. This often has detrimental effects to the positive progressive growth of the American society. The sample population used by the authors was derived from several suburban communities of Atlanta, Georgia. The region was selected for the purpose of this study as it reports constant increments in the number of methamphetamine users during the last 10 years. To attain the data from the sample population, face-to-face interviews and observations were utilized (Boshears, Boeri, & Harbry, 2011).
After gathering the data, it was synthesized and analyzed using various tools including the SPSS computer program and the iterative model of triangulation. These enabled the authors to derive accurate results that painted the real picture of methamphetamine addiction in the country. However, there were several aspects of the study that were collected and analyzed by observation during the interview. This included the social factors that influence the beginning of methamphetamine use, the continuity of this usage, and finally, the causative factors for abandoning this usage, e.g. influence from family members and friends, the environment, social relationships and many more. All of these factors contributed majorly in providing a very solid conclusion for the research project (Boshears, Boeri, & Harbry, 2011).
In the end, the authors concluded that there is an intricate social process that contributes towards addiction among methamphetamine users. To begin with, identity formation is the key causation of the onset of methamphetamine usage. Users indicated that they started using this drug with friends and that they wanted to feel part and parcel of the group. Addiction on the other hand was usually brought about by the general social acceptance of methamphetamine in the American society. It has become a very common drug that many drug and substance users abuse. Finally, the participants who have stopped using methamphetamine indicated that the quest for social recovery influenced their decision to be clean. They wanted to be productive members of the society, who contributed towards its growth, and not destruction (Boshears, Boeri, & Harbry, 2011).
I agree with the findings of this article. The authors were thorough in their analysis. The ingenious idea of sourcing information from current and previous methamphetamine users made it easier to understand this social phenomenon. However, there was very limited information on the actual use of methamphetamine in the American society. This research project only focused on the views offered by these 100 participants. However, there are other factors in the society that influence the usage of methamphetamine in the society. This would have provided further insights on the social context of methamphetamine addiction. Nevertheless, this was a commendable effort from the authors.
Boshears, P., Boeri, M., & Harbry, L. (2011). Addiction and sociality: Perspectives from methamphetamine users in suburban USA. Addiction research & theory, 19(4), 289-301.
Cicero, T. J., Ellis, M. S., Surratt, H. L., & Kurtz, S. P. (2014). The changing face of heroin use in the United States: a retrospective analysis of the past 50 years. JAMA psychiatry, 71(7), 821-826.
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