Journal article

Explanations and expectations: drug narratives among young cannabis users in treatment

Margaretha Jarvinen, Signe Ravn

Sociology of Health and Illness: a journal of medical sociology | WILEY | Published : 2015


This article analyses how young people enrolled in drug addiction treatment in Copenhagen, Denmark, explain their cannabis careers and how they view their possibilities for quitting drug use again. Inspired by Mead and narrative studies of health and illness, the article identifies four different drug use 'aetiologies' drawn upon by the interviewees. These cover childhood experiences, self-medication, the influence of friends and cannabis use as a specific lifestyle. A central argument of the article is that these explanations not only concern the past but also point towards the future by assigning the interviewee a more or less agential position in relation to drugs. Further, the drug narra..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank The Danish Council for Independent Research (Social Sciences) for support of the first author, and the Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research, Aarhus University, for support of the second author. We also want to thank the anonymous reviewers of this article for their very helpful comments which improved the article significantly.