“We all need to take a closer look at the things we’ve avoided—the things lurking around in this place where love and addiction meet—so we’re as strong as we can be.”
—Sandra Swenson, author of Tending Dandelions
In the shadows of our child’s struggles with addiction, we find ourselves tending to a life for which we weren’t prepared.
These meditations continue the tradition of Hazelden’s beloved meditation books by providing moments of recognition, confession, and healing for those who are realizing that recovery rarely follows a neat or comfortable path. Along the way, we plant beautiful roses only to be injured by their thorns, and we pull up unwanted dandelions that, at times, are our only source of wishes.
By sharing the realities we never expected our families to face, mothers of addicted children support each other through experiences that can only be feared and imagined by others. From our shared struggles emerge opportunities for personal growth. Tending Dandelions is a vital source of wisdom, support, and strength that helps us begin our own journey of recovery.
Wolfson develops both of these themes: building on the infrastructure of health, and state-movement interpenetration, to understand the emergence, growth, and outcomes of the tobacco control movement in Minnesota. He focuses on the advantages and constraints associated with these two related themes. He goes beyond the case study method to assess the generalizability of the pattern, and whether the same sort of movement can be used by other states in North America, and even in other countries and their social movements.
How has the tobacco control movement become such a significant and successful force in shaping public policy, social norms, and the habits of millions of Americans? In this first such detailed study by a sociologist, Wolfson documents how the movement has grown over nearly three decades by building an infrastructure of health organizations and health professionals, and by fostering relationships with government. Rich in survey data, extensive interviews, and archival sources, this text is essential reading for courses in social problems, social movements, and public health. The general reader will also find it engaging, given the issues of tobacco use as an addiction and a social problem.
Mark Wolfson is associate professor and director for community Research, Department of Public Health Science, Wake Forest University School of Medicine. His research has been funded by both governmental and private research grants.
Applying the major sociological theories of anomie, career, conflict, functionalist, rational choice, social control, social disorganization, social learning, social reaction, and subculture perspectives, Shaw provides an important overview of the issues involved with substance use and abuse. By utilizing such an approach, he demonstrates that public views, governmental policies, intervention strategies, and prevention programming can be informed by the different sociological theories. This unique consideration and analysis illustrates that no single view on substance use and abuse is absolute or sacred. Therefore, considering the issues from a variety of sociological perspectives will bring greater understanding to a pervasive social problem that continues to plague American society.
Whether it be illegal drugs such as marijuana, heroin, and cocaine or legal substances including cigarettes and alcohol, drug use is a deeply imbedded characteristic of society. An immense amount of money and human resources is spent in the United States to address drug use. For example, the cost of substance abuse to the U.S. economy each year is estimated to be over $414 billion. In terms of illegal drugs alone, the U.S. drug market has been estimated to be $150 billion a year. The annual federal anti-drug budget for law enforcement is about $12 billion per year; and about $3 billion goes to overseas drug wars alone with about half of that amount going to Colombia to eliminate opium and coca cultivation. It has been reported that substance abuse and addiction will add at least $41 billion to the costs of elementary and secondary education for 2001 due to class disruption and violence, special education and tutoring, teacher turnover, truancy, children left behind, student assistance programs, property damage, injury, and counseling. The cost to the nation for each of its hard-core addicts, per year, is about $30,000. The amount spent on the drug problem does not include the cost of drug use measured in human suffering, increased violence, and lost lives, nor does it include the damage done by cigarettes and alcohol.
The second, updated edition of this important work examines issues about the use and abuse of legal and illegal drugs from multiple perspectives including the social context of reality, historical and present patterns of use, causal factors associated with addiction, research findings including those of a cross-cultural nature, case studies of addicts, and the management of services provision.