Narcotic addiction in post -Soviet Ukraine

2006 2006

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

Implicit in most observations about addictive drug use is the assumption that variance in addicts' use and drug related behavior are independent of social forces, that they are caused by the addictive condition. Drug related activities and attitudes include frequency of use, behaviors that increase risk of infection, and attitudes toward use and recovery. This dissertation explores the possibility that social influences account for differences in intravenous drug use and attitudes even after addiction has been established.

To explore this possibility, two primary data sets were gathered from over 700 Ukrainian narcotic addicts. The first set was qualitative, made up of interviews with addicts at a national research hospital and provided the information used to design a structured instrument. The second set was made up of quantitative data collected with the structured instrument. Variables were organized into categories that represent corners of social influence , structural areas of social life such as immediate family, family of origin, conventional social institutions, peer networks, and economic circumstances.

The study demonstrates that a variety of social factors arising from different corners of influence account for behaviors that previously would have been attributed to the addiction itself. Older narcotic addicts use more frequently than young addicts, and unemployed addicts use more frequently than the employed. Social networks and institutions with which the addicts engage are significantly related to the addicts' use frequencies, risk behaviors, and self-prognoses. Evidence suggests that the frequency of addicts' use is a function of family structure, economic conditions, local narcotic distribution means, and addicts' access to illicit markets.

The findings, including the overarching statement that social factors influence addictive drug use and related behavior, have theoretical and practical implications. For sociology they raise questions about the experience of a chronic condition and the use of deviance theory to explain all drug related behavior. They also suggest shifts for intervention practice and policy that can reduce the harm caused by addiction.

Indexing (details)

Social work;
Public health;
Drug addiction;
0627: Criminology
0452: Social work
0573: Public health
Identifier / keyword
Health and environmental sciences; Social sciences; Addiction; Narcotic addiction; Post-Soviet; Ukraine
Narcotic addiction in post -Soviet Ukraine
Adams, Gregory A.
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 67/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Tessler, Richard C.
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.