Drug, Set and Setting

The effects that a drug has on a person are not just dependent on the drug itself, but also on factors related to the person (the set) and the physical and social setting. (838 words)

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It’s Not Just About the Drug, Part 2

In my last blog, I introduced the idea that drug effects at a personal and community level are not just dependent on their biochemical actions—they depend on drug, set (the person) and setting (social context).

The Vietnam experience
The most dramatic illustration of the role of ‘social context’ centres around heroin addiction and the widespread use by American soldiers of heroin and opium during the Vietnam War. It involved one of the most ambitious and interesting research studies ever undertaken on the use of psychoactive drugs.

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It’s Not Just About the Drug

The effects of a drug depend on an interaction between drug, person (set)  and social context (setting). These three factors also influence the likelihood of addiction and recovery from addiction (2,200 words).

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‘The Promised Land” – A Film by Kevin P Miller (1991)

‘It is one of my earliest films, yet ‘The Promised Land’ remains among my most beloved. This documentary, initially created in about five weeks’ time for a local ABC-TV affiliate, won a slew of regional Emmys™, was nominated for a national Emmy award, and captured a Bronze Medal in the category of “International TV Programming” from the N.Y. International Film & Television Festival in 1992.

When it aired, ‘The Promised Land’ was the highest-ranked TV program in prime time, but most importantly, it raised nearly $500,000 in donations after its first showing – and just under $1,000,000 total. The donations went directly to transitional housing, veterans groups, Foodbanks and job training for the poor and homeless.

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It’s not just about the drug

IMG_3429Why not check out my article on drug, set and setting? In this article, I describe how the effects of a drug depend on the interaction between the drug, the person (set) and the social context (setting) in which the drug is taken.

Similarly, these three factors influence both addiction and recovery from addiction. As I describe, this interaction has important implications for developing systems of care to help people recover from dug and alcohol addiction.

Please let me know what you think about It’s not just about the drug.