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History, Culture and Subjective Experience: An Exploration of the Social Bases of Drug-Induced Experiences

Howard S. Becker
Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Vol. 8, No. 3 (Sep., 1967), pp. 163-176
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2948371
Page Count: 14
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History, Culture and Subjective Experience: An Exploration of the Social Bases of Drug-Induced Experiences
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Abstract

So-called "drug psychoses" can be interpreted as the anxiety reaction of a naive user occasioned by his fear that the temporary symptoms of drug use represent a permanent derangement of his mind. Participation in a drug-using subculture tends to minimize such occurrences, because other users present the person with alternative explanations of his experience that minimize its lasting effects. A comparison of LSD and marihuana use suggests that the number of drug-induced psychoses varies historically, being a function of the historical development of a subculture.

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