Date of Award

2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

First Advisor

Nakhaie, Reza

Keywords

Dependence, Drug Use, Social Capital, Social Networks

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Using data from the Canadian Community Health Survey collected between 2008 and 2012, this study explores the relationships between individual-level social capital and illicit drug use and dependence. The results showed that when controlling for relevant socio-demographic and socioeconomic factors, the influences of network size and marital status on prevalence of illicit drug use were significant and varied by type of drug, while social support showed a consistent protective effect. When measuring drug dependence, all three dimensions of social capital measured in this study showed protective effects. These findings lend support to the notion that drug use outcomes cannot be fully understood without appreciating the social contexts in which individuals use and become dependent on drugs. As such, this study suggests that effective policy interventions aimed at mitigating adverse consequences of drug use must address social and economic inequalities that impede the development of social capital at the individual level1.

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