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The American Drug Scene

Readings in a Global Context

Seventh Edition

Edited by James A. Inciardi and Karen McElrath

Publication Date - 14 July 2014

ISBN: 9780199362080

576 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

The most comprehensive and sociologically oriented reader available for drugs courses


Now in its seventh edition, The American Drug Scene, edited by James A. Inciardi and Karen McElrath, is a collection of contemporary and classic articles on the changing patterns, problems, perspectives, and policies of legal and illicit drug use. Offering a unique focus on the social contexts in which drug usage, drug-related problems, and drug policies occur, it presents theoretical and descriptive material drawn from both ethnographic and quantitative sources.

New to this Edition

  • A new structure, sections, and introductions to sections
  • A general revised introduction
  • Thirty-two new articles
  • A new focus on drug use and policies in countries outside of the U.S.

About the Author(s)

James A. Inciardi was Director of the Center for Drug and Alcohol Studies and Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware.

Karen McElrath is Professor of Criminal Justice at Fayetteville State University.

Previous Publication Date(s)

July 2010
May 2007
April 2004


"The topics covered are timely, and the authors represent a variety of perspectives and viewpoints. This is a great text for helping students discover how they view drug use in society. The book gives them the tools to develop their views without telling them what to think."--Amanda Reiman, University of California, Berkeley

"The introductions provide a useful overview and framing through which to read the research itself. There is a lot of qualitative/ethnographic work, which is engaging for students. The articles often challenge students' stereotypes and resist simple solutions or answers."--Andrea Leverentz, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Table of Contents

    * = New to this Edition

    About the Editors
    About the Contributors
    Introduction: Conceptual Discussion of Drugs and Drug Use

    Part I. Historical Perspectives and Images of Drug Use and Addiction

    * 1. The Evolution of Drug Taking and Drug Seeking in America, Inciardi, J. A. and McElrath, K. (2014)
    * 2. The Hidden Epidemic: Opiate Addiction and Cocaine Use in the South, 1860-1920, Courtwright, David T. (1983)
    3. Marijuana: Assassin of Youth, Anslinger, H. J. and Cooper, C. R. (1937)

    Part II. Moral Panics and the Social Construction of Drug Use

    * 4. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Origins of a Moral Panic, Armstrong, E. M. and Abel, E. L. (2000)
    * 5. Kronic Hysteria: Exploring the Intersection between Australian Synthetic Cannabis Legislation, the Media, and Drug-Related Harm, Bright, S. J., Bishop, B., Kane, R., Marsh, A., and Barratt, M. J. (2013)

    Part III. The Onset of Drug Use

    6. Why People Take Drugs, Weil, A. (1998)
    7. Becoming a Marihuana User, Becker, H. S. (1953)
    * 8. Everybody's Doing It: Initiation to Prescription Drug Misuse, Mui, H. Z., Sales, P., and Murphy, S. (2013)

    Part IV. Stages of Drug Use

    * 9. Cannabis as a Substitute for Alcohol and Other Drugs, Reiman, A. (2009)
    * 10. A Qualitative Exploration of Trajectories among Suburban Users of Methamphetamine, Boeri, M. W., Harbry, L., and Gibson, D. (2009)

    Part V. Power, Privilege, and Drug Use: Race, Ethnicity, Social Class, Gender, and Sexual Identity

    * 11. Hard Drugs in a Soft Context: Managing Trouble and Crack Use on a College Campus, Jackson-Jacobs, C. (2004)
    * 12. Pain, Physical Dependence, and Pseudoaddiction: Redefining Addiction for "Nice" People?, Bell, K. and Salmon, A. (2009)
    * 13. With Scenes of Blood and Pain: Crime Control and the Punitive Imagination of the Meth Project, Linnemann, T., Hanson, L., and Williams, L. S. (2013)
    * 14. "Alcohol Allows You to Not Be Yourself": Toward a Structured Understanding of Alcohol Use and Gender Difference Among Gay, Lesbian, and Heterosexual Youth, Peralta, R. L. (2008)

    Part VI. Subcultures, Social Networks, and Drug Scenes

    * 15. Adderall Abuse on College Campuses: A Comprehensive Literature Review, Varga, M. D. (2012)
    16. Taking Care of Business: The Heroin User's Life on the Street, Preble, E. and Casey, J. J. (1969)

    Part VII. Rituals and Drug-Use Practices

    * 17. Psychoactive Agents and Native American Spirituality: Past and Present, French, L. A. (2008)
    * 18. Poly-Drug Use Among Ecstasy Users: Separate, Synergistic, and Indiscriminate Patterns, Boeri, M. W., Sterk, C. E., Bahora, M., Elifson, K. W. (2008)
    * 19. Peer Injecting: Implications for Injecting Order and Blood-Borne Viruses among Men and Women who Inject Heroin, McElrath, K. and Harris, J. (2013)

    Part VIII. Drug Markets

    * 20. From "Social Supply" to "Real Dealing": Drift, Friendship, and Trust in Drug Dealing Careers, Taylor, M. and Potter, G. R. (2013)
    * 21. A Preference for Mephedrone: Drug Markets, Drugs of Choice, and the Emerging "Legal High" Scene, McElrath, K. and Van Hout, M. C. (2011)
    * 22. Step by Step: A Situational Analysis of Drug Business Disputes, Taylor, A. (2012)

    Part IX. Social Control and Surveillance

    * 23. Drug Testing Promotes Workplace Safety, DiThomas, M. (2012)
    * 24. Drug Testing in the Workplace, Independent Inquiry into Drug Testing at Work (2004)
    * 25. Our Drugs are Better than Yours: Schools and their Hypocrisy Regarding Drug Use, Finley, L. L. (2007)

    Part X. Drug Prevention and Treatment

    *26. Safety First: A Reality-Based Approach to Teens and Drugs, Rosenbaum, M. (2012)
    27. Gender-Specific Issues in the Treatment of Drug-Involved Women, Surratt, H. L. (2007)
    * 28. Remembering the Lizard: Reconstructing Sexuality in the Rooms of Narcotics Anonymous, Green, L. L., Fullilove, M. T., and Fullilove, R. E. (2005)
    * 29. Methadone as Social Control: Institutionalized Stigma and the Prospect of Recovery, Harris, J. and McElrath, K. (2012)

    Part XI. Harm Reduction

    * 30. Needle Exchange and the Geography of Survival in the South Bronx, McLean, K. (2012)
    *31. Maximising the Highs and Minimising the Lows: Harm Reduction Guidance within Ecstasy Distribution Networks, Jacinto, C., Duterte, M., Sales, P., and Murphy, S. (2008)

    Part XII. Drugs, Street Crime, and Criminal Justice

    32. Sex Work and Drug Use in a Subculture of Violence, Surratt, H. L., Inciardi, J. A., Kurtz, S.. P., and Kiley, M. C. (2004)
    * 33. The Gendered Trouble with Alcohol: Young People Managing Alcohol Related Violence, Lindsay, J. (2012)
    * 34. Breakthrough in U.S. Drug Sentencing Reform: The Fair Sentencing Act and the Unfinished Reform Agenda, Gotsch, K. (2011)
    * 35. The New Jim Crow, Alexander, M. (2011)
    * 36. Drug Courts are Not the Answer: Toward a Health-Centered Approach, Drug Policy Alliance (2011)

    Part XIII. Policy Considerations

    * 37. Blurred Boundaries: The Therapeutics and Politics of Medical Marijuana, Bostwick, J. M. (2012)
    * 38. Rethinking U.S. Drug Policy, Hakim, P. (2011)
    * 39. The U.S. "War on Drugs" in Afghanistan, Mercille, J. (2011)

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