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ERIC Number: EJ983880
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 65
ISSN: ISSN-1367-6261
Gang Youth, Substance Use Patterns, and Drug Normalization
Sanders, Bill
Journal of Youth Studies, v15 n8 p978-994 2012
Gang membership is an indicator of chronic illicit substance use and such patterns of use may have a normalized character. Using epidemiological and qualitative data collected between 2006 and 2007, this manuscript examines the drug normalization thesis among a small sample (n=60) of gang youth aged 16-25 years from Los Angeles. Overall, while evidence does suggest that illicit drug use was pervasive among the sample, data do not support the idea that all drugs were normalized. However, findings do indicate that marijuana use was normalized. This was due to the sample's high frequency of marijuana use, wide access to marijuana, intent to use marijuana, positive attitudes about marijuana use, critical attitudes of the use of certain "hard" illicit drugs, and cultural references supportive of marijuana use. Illicit substance use among gang youth could seemingly be divided into two categories: marijuana and everything else. In this respect, the values of gang members in relation to illicit substance use appear very similar to those of youth from the general population who also use illicit substances. This questions the applicability of theories couched in pathology to understand the differential patterns of substance use among serious young offenders. (Contains 3 tables and 3 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California