Devianceand Drug Use


  • The DSM-5 criteria define addiction as the mild, moderate or severe dependence on substances that alter the normal functioning of the body (Hasin et al., 2013). The diagnostic criteria use behavioral characteristics to place an individual in the appropriate level of addiction.


  • Alcohol use is a leading cause of addiction and massive annual deaths. It is associated with reduced performance and withdrawal. The DSM criteria refer to heavy drinking as exceeding 5 takes for a period of more than one month.

  • Tobacco use is listed as the second most common deviant behavior with more than 25.2% of Americans being smokers (Fisher &amp Harrison, 2012).

  • Besides, 22.2 million people abuse cannabis and every year, more than 4.2 million people meet the DSM-5 criteria for addiction (Compton et al., 2013).

  • Other divergent use of substances includes the use of stimulants including cocaine, heroin among others. About 476, 000 fulfill the DSM threshold for dependence (Fisher &amp Harrison, 2012).

Sub-culturesCommon with Drug Users

  • Addiction normally leads to withdrawal and reduced performance.

  • For the illegal drugs like cocaine, cannabis, heroin among others are usually peddled in high-risk areas usually to escape the wrath of law enforcers.

  • For cannabis, the subculture is dominated by emulating renowned weed icons including Tomy Chong and Terence McKenna.

Drugsand Illegal Activities

  • Due to the illegality of the drugs, there is a culture of being averse to the security personnel that sometimes trigger a row between police officers and the drug users (Hall &amp Lynskey, 2016).

  • Drugs such as heroin and cocaine are dear, and a sustained use can deplete one’s resources. The victims are likely to engage in crime to obtain the resources to satisfy they needs.

WhyUnderstanding the Drug Culture is Important

  • It can assist law enforcers to formulate the most effective regulations to curb their presence in a given setting.

  • Investigating them beyond the crime can unearth a chain of suppliers and users.

  • Being acquainted with the behavioral characteristics of the victims can inform institutions on the individuals who require counseling and rehabilitation.

TheWar on Drugs

  • The Drug Enforcement Agency has spearheaded the war on substance use by enforcing various laws (Gaines &amp Kremling, 2013). They include

  • The Narcotic Control Act

  • Narcotic Addict Rehabilitation Act

  • Drug-Free Communities Act

  • Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act and Personal Responsibility and Word Re-authorization Act among others (Lynch, 2012).


Compton,W. M., Dawson, D. A., Goldstein, R. B., &amp Grant, B. F. (2013).Crosswalk between DSM-IV dependence and DSM-5 substance use disordersfor opioids, cannabis, cocaine and alcohol. Drugand Alcohol Dependence,132(1),387-390.

Fisher,G. L., &amp Harrison, T. C. (2012). Substanceabuse: Information for school counselors, social workers, therapistsand counselors.New York, N.Y: Pearson Higher Ed.

Gaines,L. K., &amp Kremling, J. (2013). Drugs,crime, and justice: Contemporary perspectives.Illinois: Waveland Press.

Hall,W., &amp Lynskey, M. (2016). Why it is probably too soon to assessthe public health effects of legalisation of recreational cannabisuse in the USA. TheLancet Psychiatry.

Hasin,D. S., O’Brien, C. P., Auriacombe, M., Borges, G., Bucholz, K.,Budney, A., &amp Schuckit, M. (2013). DSM-5 criteria for substanceuse disorders: recommendations and rationale. AmericanJournal of Psychiatry.

Lynch,M. (2012). Theorizing the role of the ‘war on drugs’ in USpunishment. TheoreticalCriminology,16(2), 175-199.