Why? Explanations for drug use and drug dealing in social drug research
For thousands of years, humans have been using substances that are called ‘drugs’ today, for example to relieve pain, to relax, to gain energy, or in the course of cultural and religious rituals. In search for explanations as to why so many people in the 21st century use drugs, and why in such a wide variety, several macro level factors or drivers need to be addressed.
Chapters in this volume contribute to the understanding of drug use, drug users, drug markets and drug policy in Europe. All the authors work in this field, and are involved in local, national or international research on drug use, drug users or drug dealers. Their research is not carried out in laboratories nor treatment centres. Some of it is predominantly conducted in libraries and archives, but most takes place elsewhere – on the streets, in nightclubs, in private drug-dealing settings. The authors are social scientists from different disciplines – anthropology, criminology, geography, economics, linguistics, psychology, sociology, social psychiatry – and many of them have an interest in, or are specifically oriented to qualitative research methods, including participant observation, informal conversations and in-depth interviews. In the search for explanations as to why particular groups turn to or continue to use certain substances over others, why some people use drugs, why users prefer particular methods of supply, and why current drug policies exists, each of the chapters underline the utmost importance of this book, which captures many of the complexities of how drug use and drug dealing is explained, experienced and often problematised today.
Zsuzsa Kaló is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the Institute of Psychology, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary.
Julie Tieberghien is a Lecturer and a Researcher at the Centre for Research and Expertise in Social Innovation (CRESI) of VIVES University College, Belgium.
Dirk J. Korf is a Professor of Criminology at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.