Drug & Alcohol Culture Book

Commentary by Dr. Gerhard Falk & Dr. Ursula A. Falk


The American Drug Culture (Sage Publications)

By Thomas Weinberg, Gerhard Falk, & Ursula Adler Falk

This book describes the American Drug culture of today, its users, and its drugs. The book explains why drugs are  important to the people who are damaged, and the consequences to the addicts who seek happiness instead of the poisonous results that are their reality.  It describes the addicts, their backgrounds, their personalities, their feelings, their unrealistic hopes, and their immature wishes.

The parts are:

Part One. Sociological and Other Explanations for Drug and Alcohol Use and Abuse.

Part Two . Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs. Drinking Alcohol. The Alcohol Culture. Alcohol and Social Institutions. Benefits and Costs of Alcohol. Alcohol and Popular Culture. Alcohol and Sexual Behavior. Alcoholism.

Part 3.History of Drug Use in America and Attempts to Control It. Drugs in Popular Culture. Becoming a Drug User. The Business of Drug Use. Prevention and Treatment of Alcohol and Substance Use Disorders.

Part 4. Appendix A. Case Histories: Alcohol Abusers. Appendix B. Case Histories: Drug Abusers.

The President , Donald Trump, recently warned the country that there is a growing heroin epidemic in the United States. Officials have called this epidemic a wave of opioid-related deaths. In 2016 and 2017, opioid related deaths increased over all previous years, and in just 11 days in January of the next year there were 23 more deaths induced by heroin. In addition, fentanyl, a synthetic painkiller 30 to 40 times more potent than heroin, is becoming popular. Heroin is now the leading cause of overdose deaths in the United States. In fact, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, there were more deaths from heroin overdose since 2015 than there were from gun homicides, as deaths from heroin have more than quadrupled since 2010.

One explanation for this epidemic is that doctors are overprescribing pain killers. As a consequence, people who can no longer obtain these drugs by prescription turn to the black market to obtain them, and eventually discover heroin at only five dollars a bag.

There are of course many people who used painkillers but never used heroin because their personalities, past experiences, interpersonal relationships, and opportunity to acquire drugs are different from those who use heroin.

Throughout this book we present case histories which illustrate each chapter. We also present various theories from sociological, psychological, and legal perspectives. In chapter 11, Dr. Ursula Adler Falk discusses the use of drugs from a psychoanalytic framework. This is followed by sociological explanations and thereafter by structural functional explanations. We exhibit conflict theory, and exchange theory as well as symbolic interaction and labeling theory. We continue with reference group theory and phenomenological sociology as well as ethnomethodology.

Feminist approaches are also considered, and there is a discussion of research concerning drug and alcohol use.

The two appendices add to the case histories already distributed throughout the book, which has been written with a view of making it accessible to anyone interested in this topic.

Shalom uívracha.

Dr. Gerhard Falk is the author of numerous publications, including The American Drug Culture (with Dr. Thomas S. Weinberg & Dr. Ursula A. Falk, 2018).

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