Psychology

Drug use can have social benefits, and acknowledging this could improve rehabilitation

Studies have shown people generally use party drugs to give them energy, help them socialise and have fun … The social benefits of drug use are more complex to quantify. But there are now numerous studies showing people use alcohol or other drugs in social settings such as bars, clubs and parties to enhance their interactions with others through increased confidence, greater sociability and less anxiety. For some people this leads to longer-term benefits such as stronger bonds with friends.

Research that explores people’s social experiences of drug use can usefully inform harm minimisation or drug cessation programs. While the physical effects of a drug may pose risks, the social settings in which drugs are consumed are not necessarily damaging or dangerous. In fact, they may be quite the opposite, providing a source of friendship, support and happiness for users … It might be tempting to denounce this with the assertion that the potential health risks undermine any claims to benefit – or that friendships generated through drug use are not genuine. But sense of community and friendship has been successfully harnessed in drug and alcohol harm minimisation campaigns such as the “Take Care of Your Mates” campaigns directed toward young people.

Original Article (The Conversation):
Drug use can have social benefits, and acknowledging this could improve rehabilitation
Artwork Fair Use: Túrelio

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