This study evaluates the existence and contributory factors of social preference for synthetic cannabinoids, a novel psychoactive drug that has emerged as a substance of abuse in the last decade throughout Europe and the United States. Reasoning behind initiate, continual, and habitual use of synthetic cannabinoids is explored in the course of this study, as well as the contextualizations of use, particularly those which operate via social processes to shape social preference for this class of novel substances. The data utilized in this study was collected by way of semi-structured interviews with 9 adults from the southeastern region of Louisiana who had previously used synthetic cannabinoids for a period of 6 months or longer in the course of their personal histories of drug use. Contributory factors, as expressed in the course of respondent interviews were thematically grouped into 9 inclusive themes, (ease of obtainment, social/recreational contexts, perception of the high, replacement for preferred substances, self-medication/coping, addiction, drug testing, and individual preference), which shaped the phenomena of social preference. The findings of this study suggest the existence of social preference for synthetic cannabinoids as a result of a number of interwoven contributory factors, the most commonly cited being concerns about drug testing and social reinforcement of synthetic cannabinoid use. Addiction and chemical coping as a means of self-medication were particularly salient in shaping individual consumer preference for synthetic cannabinoids over other more established drugs. Most notably, the study found that both social learning aspects and macro-level market factors interacted to form the phenomena of social preference for the users in this sample during their respective periods of active use of synthetic cannabinoids.
|Advisor:||Khey, David N.|
|Commitee:||Kles, Maranda M., Stearns, Ami E.|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||MAI 58/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Criminology, Public policy|
|Keywords:||Drug policy, Synthetic marijuana|
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