The Institute for Scientific Analysis is showcased in the recent issue of Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy Vol. 19 No. 6, 2012. Included are an essay on the history and intellectual foundations of the ISA by Dr. Craig Reinarman, Sociologist at UC Santa Cruz; conceptual and methodological developments of gang research at ISA over the past two decades, by Dr. Karen Joe-Laidler and Dr. Geoffrey Hunt; interviewing and creating rapport with drug sellers in the Bay Area, by Dr. Paloma Sales and Dr. Sheigla Murphy; and how Asian American youth construct intra-ethnic boundaries through consumption, style and taste, by Dr. Molly Moloney and Dr. Geoffrey Hunt.
Over the last forty years, public perceptions of marijuana use have undergone a number of changes. When Baby Boomers were teenagers and young adults, marijuana use was broadly accepted among youth cultures, but by the late 1980s, marijuana use, as well as other so-called “soft” drug use, was widely socially disparaged. Today the pendulum is swinging back in terms of public attitudes towards marijuana. Marijuana use has become much more widely tolerated to the point where municipal, county and state laws decriminalizing marijuana possession have been enacted across the country. Rates of marijuana use among Baby Boomers appear to be growing, and analysts predict a significant rise in older adults’ substance use which will increase treatment and healthcare needs. In order to investigate the health and social consequences of changing political and social contexts, we plan to conduct in-depth life history interviews with marijuana users divided into two groups defined by varying social roles and cohort experiences: 60 early Boomers (born between 1946-1957) and 60 late Boomers (1958-1964) who are regular users. We hope to discover the differences and similarities between how early and late Baby Boomers perceive their own and others’ marijuana use, their attitudes, their actual use patterns, and their perceptions of its health and social consequences.
Dr. Sheigla Murphy Receives Funding for “A Qualitative Study of Non-medical Prescription Stimulant Use”
“Dr. Sheigla Murphy, with Co-Principal Investigator, Dr. Paloma Sales were awarded a National Institute on Drug Abuse funding for “A Qualitative Study of Non-medical Prescription Stimulant Use”. This mixed methods study will be done in the San Francisco Bay Area and will explore the intersection of individual factors, including life stage and social location that contribute to decisions to use prescription stimulants non-medically, motivations to use, knowledge about risks and benefits of prescription stimulant use, any adverse health or social consequences experienced, availability and diversion of prescription stimulants, differences in attitudes and behaviors relating to NPSU and differences among the various age groups concerning all of the above.”
New articles published in Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs and Public Service Review: European Science & Technology
The latest published journal articles from members of our research team:
Hunt, Geoffrey, Moloney, Molly and Fazio, Adam. (2011). Embarking on large-scale qualitative research: Reaping the benefits of mixed methods in studying youth, clubs and drugs. Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 28(5-6): 433-452. http://dx.doi.org/10.2478/v10199-011-0040-1
Frank, Vibeke Asmussen and Hunt, Geoffrey. (2011). Social science research into drugs and alcohol. Public Service Review: European Science & Technology, 11: 354-355.
Sheigla Murphy, PhD, Senior Scientist at the Institute for Scientific Analysis, received the Senior Scholar award by the American Society of Sociology’s Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco section, at their annual meeting in August. This award is given based on accomplishments in publication, grants and overall contribution to the sociology of alcohol, drugs and tobacco.
Dr. Geoffrey P. Hunt, Senior Scientist at ISA has been appointed Professor at the Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research (CRF), School of Business and Social Sciences at the University of Aarhus in Denmark http://crf.au.dk/en/
An affiliation between the Institute for Scientific Analysis and CRF in Aarhus has been established to encourage collaborative research endeavors between scientists at both research centers, to increase a sharing of research data for pursuing cross-national research and to further the mentoring and training of pre and post-doctoral candidates from CRF.
Our latest peer-reviewed journal articles:
Hunt, Geoffrey, Fazio, Adam, MacKenzie, Kathleen and Moloney, Molly. (2011). Food in the family. Bringing young people back in. Appetite, 56(2): 394-402. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2011.01.001
Moloney, Molly, Hunt, Geoffrey P., Joe-Laidler, Karen and MacKenzie, Kathleen. (2011). Young mother (in the) hood: Gang girls’ negotiation of new identities. Journal of Youth Studies, 14(1): 1-19. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13676261.2010.506531
Fazio, Adam, Hunt, Geoffrey and Moloney, Molly. (2011). “It’s one of the better drugs to use”: Perceptions of cocaine use among gay and bisexual Asian American men. Qualitative Health Research, 21(5): 625-641. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1049732310385825
Hunt, Geoffrey, Milhet, Maitena and Bergeron, Henri. (Eds.). (2011). Drugs and Culture: Knowledge, Consumption and Policy. Surrey: Ashgate.
Edited by Geoffrey Hunt, Institute for Scientific Analysis, USA, Maitena Milhet, French Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, France and Henri Bergeron, Sciences Po, France
Current approaches to drugs tend to be determined by medical and criminal visions that emerged over a century ago; the concepts of addiction, on the one hand, and drug control on the other, having imposed themselves as the unquestionable central notions surrounding drug issues and discourses. Pathologization and criminalization are the dominant perspectives on psychoactive drugs, and it is difficult to describe drug consumption in any terms other than those of medicine, or to conceive of regulation except in terms of control and eradication.
Drugs and Culture presents other voices and understandings of drug issues, highlighting the socio-cultural features of drug use and regulation in modern societies. It examines the cultural dimensions of drugs and their regulation, with special attention to questions of how consumption of specific psychoactive substances becomes associated with particular social groups; the social dynamics involved in our coming to think of these phenomena as we do; and the factors that determine the political and policy responses to drug use.
Adopting approaches from anthropology, sociology, history, political science and geopolitics to challenge the prevailing pathologization and criminalization of drug use, this book provides international and comparative perspectives on drug research, based on the latest research in Europe, the USA, the Middle East and Hong Kong.