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Subst Use Misuse. 1998 Dec;33(14):2721-35.

Drug identity change processes, race, and gender. III. Macrolevel opportunity concepts.

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University of Illinois at Chicago, USA.


Throughout the 20th century, scholars studying drug misuse have pinpointed various macrolevel (broad cultural and social structural) influences on the problem. The drug identity change model includes two such macrolevel factors. It maintains that social climates conducive to drug use (availability and popularity of drugs over the years) and social appraisal sources provide important opportunities for drug-related identity change. Social climates conducive to drug use help foster the formation of small groups centered on drug-related activity and meaning systems, i.e., social appraisal sources. Identification with these groups helps reduce one's ego identity discomfort or temporarily solve one's identity problems. It is through this process, the model contends, that young people change from nondrug users to drug misusers. Part 3 discusses these two concepts and how they work in the lives of the four race and gender groups studied here.

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