MISCELLANEOUS FACTORS: DRUG USE
The use of drugs of all types has long been taboo in American society although formal control, first through medical prescription and then through traditional criminal sanctions, has had a shorter history. The complex of psychological and social resistances to the use of drugs is not a matter to enter into here, but it is important to recognize the emotional and intellectual horror that use of drugs invokes in the citizen who does not use them. The general climate of opinion among the public is often one of hostility and anger when the subject is broached.
Thus the combination of drug use and sex offenses provokes a stronger emotional response than either event singly. The “dope-crazed sex fiend” is a traditional figure in the mass media, and the drug-provoked “sex orgy” is a traditional event in our newspapers and magazines. Personifications of such steretoypes are actually very infrequent.
The chief drugs of interest here may be grouped into three classes.
First are the opiates, both natural and synthetic. These are clearly addicting drugs to which there is major physiological adjustment and whose absence in the addicted individual causes an identifiable syndrome of withdrawal. Such physiological involvement may be taken as the distinguishing aspect of addicting as opposed to habituating drugs. The natural opiates range from smoking opium to the chemically extracted or refined products such as morphine and heroin (diacetylmorphine). The synthetic opiates which have comparable analgesic effects and addiction liability may be used as substitutes for the natural opiates.
Opiate users in the various sex-offender and control groups are of two types. Aside from persons with no experience, there are those with experimental experience, i.e., “joypopping” or “skinpopping,” and those who are truly addicted or “hooked.” From the best evidence available, and it is none too good, it is fairly clear that persons addicted to opiates seldom fully refrain from future use. Recidivism is marked and proceeds at a very high rate.
The second class of drugs consists of a single item, marijuana. This drug is smoked in cigarette form and is nonaddicting. The use of this drug is often claimed to be a precursor of opiate use and addiction, but the data in this area are very poor. There is surely more experimentation with marijuana than there is with the opiate drugs, and it is unlikely that most marijuana users go on to opiate addiction. The patterns of marijuana use are often considerably different from the patterns of the opiate users, being more sporadic and involving less criminal activity. For the purposes of this study marijuana users have been divided into experimenters and habitual users.
The third class of drugs is a heterogeneous one containing a variety of drugs with a variety of effects. They are nonaddicting but habituating. The barbiturates, the amphetamines, and other prescription drugs ordinarily used as either sleeping tablets or stimulants are part of this group. Use of these drugs for their ostensible licit purpose is not included here. Our concern is with use of the drugs for their euphoric, stimulant, or escape effects known in the argot of the user as “kicks.” Also included in this group of drugs is cocaine. A strongly hallucinatory drug, it is nonaddicting, and presently its use is rather rare. It has been employed by some sophisticated addicts when available as a part of “speedball,” i.e., a mixture of heroin or morphine with cocaine, but such use is not frequent and given its nonaddicting characteristics cocaine is included in this miscellaneous category. Certain esoteric drugs are not included, such as peyote, mescaline, or LSD-25.
The use of opiate drugs is very rare among the control group. None of this group are addicted, and only around 2 per cent ever experimented with them. The figure for the prison group is much higher, with 8 per cent having used opiates at some time and an additional 9 per cent addicted. Between these two extremes are all the sex offender groups. Experimental use of the opiate drugs ranges from none in the case of peepers and incest offenders vs. children to 8 per cent in the case of the heterosexual aggressors vs. children. The percentage in this last case represents two persons. Most of the sex offenders never experimented with opiate drugs—not more than 2 to 3 per cent of any group. Addiction to opiates is even rarer, with six groups having no member addicted, six groups with 1 to 3 per cent addicted, and only two groups with higher proportions, these latter being the aggressors vs. minors and adults with around 4 per cent.
Opiate addiction is much less marked among the sex-offender groups than it is among the prison group, and although there is generally a little more experimentation with opiates and actual addiction in these groups than among the control group, it does not appear to be related in any Way to specific or generalized sex-offense behavior.
Use of marijuana is a more widespread phenomenon than use of opiates. A single experience or a few experiences with marijuana are not unusual among persons in certain subgroups in the general population. It is like experimenting with alcohol, and generally with less consequence to the individual. Marijuana is not easily come by, and its illegal status makes habitual use somewhat difficult and expensive.
Only 3 per cent of the control group ever tried marijuana, and only one person in this group could be called a habitual user. The figure for the prison group is 17 per cent, and an additional 10 per cent have histories of habitual use. All but one of the sex-offense groups vary between these two extremes as far as experimentation and use are concerned, the younger age-of-object offense groups usually having more experimentation with marijuana (except for the homosexual offenders), but this pattern does not appear among those who use it habitually. Nearly two fifths of the heterosexual aggressors vs. children have experimented with marijuana, but none of these ever used the drug habitually. As far as habitual use of marijuana goes, only the heterosexual aggressors vs. minors exceed the prison group.
While the sex-offender groups generally use marijuana more extensively than does the control group, only in two cases does their use surpass that of the prison group. Neither the experimental nor habitual use of this drug seems to be associated with any particular or general type of sex offense. Marijuana use, like opiate drug use, is not an agent in precipitating any specific sex offense, nor does it appear to be a long-term predisposing factor.
Use of other narcotic drugs of various types among the sex-offender groups again falls near or between the very low limits set by the control group and the upper limit set by the prison group, with ranges of 0.8 to 11 per cent for experimentation and 0.0 to 6 per cent for habituation. The heterosexual aggressors vs. minors are an exception, experimenting considerably with barbiturates and amphetamines, but this is not followed up by extensive habitual use.
None of the specific types of drugs seem to bear any weight in the analysis of the various sex-offense groups, but if the total proportion of any group who have ever used drugs of any kind, experimentally or otherwise, is examined, two groups appear sharply different from the others. Taking drugs for the purpose of stimulation is characteristic of only one in 20 of the control group, but of one in three of the prison group. Two groups that are very similar to the prisoners are the heterosexual aggressors vs. children and minors.
If drug use may be assumed to stand in some relation to the “try anything once” attitude, then it is clear that the aggressor groups in general, and the aggressors vs. children and minors in particular, have a highly experimental and possibly impulsive relationship to the world. In this search for “kicks” they are similar to the prison group and their attitude is probably more related to a general delinquency than to the specific type of offense.
The use of drugs of any type could be either an index of different attitudes and situations than are usual among persons in the lower social classes, or a precipitating factor in the specific offense. There is no evidence for this latter hypothesis as far as these data go. What is evident is that most of the sex-offender groups are more exposed to all types of drugs and are more often users than are their nondelinquent peers. But since their exposure is usually no greater than that of the nonsex-offender delinquents, it is not a special characteristic of the sex-offense groups. Thus drug use is here a measure of an attitude of experimentation and general delinquency.
- SEMINAR TRAINING FOR CONTRACEPTIVE CARE – WHAT SORT OF DOCTOR? (SECOND CHANCES)
- PSYCHOSEXUAL PROBLEMS IN THE CONTRACEPTIVE CONSULTATION – CONCLUSION
- PSYCHOSEXUAL PROBLEMS IN THE CONTRACEPTIVE CONSULTATION – EXAMINING THE WHOLE PATIENT (INTRODUCTION)
- NOT A CURE FOR SEXUAL PROBLEMS – INSTANCE
- FAMILY PLANNING AND THE THIRD WORLD – DEMOGRAPHIC PRIORITIES
- PATTERNED OFFENDERS: MASTURBATION
- OTHER NONMARITAL COITUS: EXTRAMARITAL AND POSTMARITAL PETTING
- PHYSICAL DEFECTS AND CHARACTERISTICS: IMPOTENCE
- EXHIBITIONISTS: EXTRAMARITAL AND POST/MARITAL COITUS
- STD MOLLUSCUM CONTAGIOSUM: TREATMENT
- Anti Depressants-Sleeping Aid
- Cardio & Blood-Cholesterol
- General health
- Healthy bones Osteoporosis Rheumatic
- Men's Health-Erectile Dysfunction
- Pain Relief-Muscle Relaxers
- Women's Health