Zinberg

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This essay will illustrate that in Non Western & Western societies social controls relate to the usage of all drugs to minimise harm in the midst of drug users. Zinberg believes, social controls harbour rituals and sanctions together that function in a wide range of social settings. First of all, identifying who the drug users are, the general functions of drug use and why harm minimisation is important. Furthermore, the theory of Zinberg on social controls will be comprehended through social rituals & social sanctions in minimising harm among users and lastly it will be recognized that while rituals and sanctions together may well socially aide and help in controlling the drug user setting, Zinbergs theory also recognises that not all means will be effective nor the rules of the game adhered to or followed. Social controls function as guidelines to minimise harm for the drug user. The drug user In Non-Western and Western societies, is a person who makes decisions to consume drugs through individual choice or through proper advice & guidance of a qualified individual such as a Doctor or Witch Doctor or otherwise influenced by established cultural norms. An example of this is the Aboriginal who symbolically associates alcohol with the celebration of rights awarded in 1963 and 1964 and obtaining equality with white man. “He taps twice on his beer can”(Sansom, 1980) and is said to be “obligatory nod to grog”(Sansom, 1980). Another example is the Amazonian Indians custom practice of using peyote to improve a trace like state in getting the desired destination where the spirit world will converse with them offering information on the victim’s diseased state. As drug use is mainly seen as an influence or choice, the function of legal and illegal drugs can be used for many different purposes. For example, drugs can be used for medical purposes for relieving pain and discomfort or for curing & preventing disease. It also can be used recreationally, for spiritual purposes in aiding the diagnosis of a person’s illness,(Under responsible drug use), the notion that a person can use recreational drugs with reduced risk of harmfully affecting one's life or other people's lives. The worst use is the addiction and abuse of drug use, obsessive drug intake causes negative effects such as disease and possibly death. This especially authenticates the reason why harm minimisation strategies within any society need to exist and in what way it is likely to achieve such tasks. In preventing public health issues these measures and procedures play a vital role. For example, widespread diseases such as aids and hepatitis causing a world health epidemic has resulted from the sharing of needles amongst drug users. Societies issues is the diseases and the costs related with such problems from both a financial and health perspective. By regulating controlled use of Drugs, it will allow users to live and function within society and contribute to reducing harmful effects to the individual and the people around them. Hence it is important and essential for strategies related to minimising har to be regulated through social control within any given society. “Practical value for policy, prevention and treatment”(Zinberg, 1984). Zinberg says in order to stop drug abuse and assist in the control of drugs, three factors must be thought through to understand how illicit drugs effect a drug user. These factors are referred to as “drug, set and setting”(Zinberg, 1984). The “drug” itself and the pharmacologic action. The “set” referring to personality factors. The “setting” referred to as “the influence of the physical and social setting within which the use occurs”(Zinberg, 1984). In the setting through the development of sanctions and rituals that brings the use of illicit drugs under control. The use of any drug consists of both rules & values of conduct which are called social sanctions. These social sanctions include both formal &...
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