Sociological Factors of Drug Abuse Causation

Social factors include peer pressure and the availability of drugs in the community, school, or workplace. Experimentation with drugs is common among youths, but only a small number develop habituation and addiction. Drug addicts need to have other users around them to validate their behavior and to use in transport (mules), sales (pushers), or purchases of drugs. In this manner, drug use is a socially contagious disease. The workplace, whether it is a farm, packing house, or veterinary supply depot, becomes the location where drugs are bartered, used, and sometimes grown or manufactured (17).

Occupational and agricultural risk factors for drug and alcohol use include poor job performance; safety hazards while intoxicated or during withdrawal; drug-seeking behavior at work such as buying, manufacturing, stealing, or selling; and poor health. Drug users often try to recruit fellow employees to validate their own drug behavior and to use them as a source of buyers for income. An employer may find a stockroom or production line has been turned into a drug distribution point by drug-using employees (6).

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