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Monday 23 April 2018

Is The Use Of Illegal Drugs Normalised Within A Student Population?

Nicholas Woodrow


This dissertation investigates and measures the extent to which the normalisation of drug use has occurred amongst the students of a north England university. It aims to answer the question, ‘is the use of illegal drugs normalised within a student population?’ The research consisted of a non-random sample of 100 university students, and employed anonymous self-completion questionnaires to collect information. Through these methods Parker et al.’s (1998) six dimensions of normalisation were assessed. These dimensions being: Access and availability to drugs; Drug trying rates; Rates of drug use; Being drug wise & the Social accommodation of drug use; Future intentions of drug use; and the Cultural accommodation of drug use. This dissertation discovered that overall the use of drugs was normalised in the sample, with evidence of drug normalisation being found in five of the six dimensions; only the findings from the ‘future intentions of drug use’ dimension did not support the normalisation of drug use. The results matched the majority of the previous research (Parker et al., 1998; 2002; Measham et al., 2001), and showed high levels of acceptance towards drug use, especially cannabis use, coming from drug users, triers, and abstainers. The dissertation concludes that the normalisation of drug use has occurred in the student sample, with drug use being firmly set in the lives and leisure activities of many of the students.


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