Growing older with drugs – Three narratives of adult identity and continuing drug use

Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperForskning

In contrast to the quantitative survey data on maturing out of drugs, there is a lack of qualitative knowledge in the field. Only few studies have made use of qualitative interviews or ethnographic fieldwork to explore how recreational drug use and emerging adult identity is negotiated experienced and perceived by the drug users. This study use a sample of n=11 well educated young adult drug users aged 22 to 35, in order to understand the process of growing older while continuing using drugs. The sample of young adult drug users produces a somehow ”contrafactual” or difficult position to the most accepted narrative of drug use (mature out while moving into adulthood). In present paper we present three narratives of adult drug use among a group of well educated young adult drug users. In the first narrative, Maturity by self-discovery, the use of, especially psychedelic drugs, are instrumentalized as a means to achieve self-development and discovery of perceived “true self”. In the second narrative, Maturity by knowing how to cope with pressure from everyday life, informants constructed drug use as a necessary tool to cope with pressure from everyday life and feelings of meaninglessness in order to live up to expectations of adult identity. Finally informants presenting the narrative Not living up to expectations of adulthood, constructed drug use as a part of hedonistic youth lifestyle not compatible with a future adult identity.
StatusIkke-udgivet - 2017
BegivenhedThe Second Narrative Criminology Symposium - University of Oslo, Norge
Varighed: 15 jun. 201716 jun. 2017


KonferenceThe Second Narrative Criminology Symposium
LokationUniversity of Oslo

ID: 261517803