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NCJ Number: 136313 Find in a Library
Title: Adolescent Drug Use in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Journal: Journal of Drug Issues  Volume:22  Issue:1  Dated:(Winter 1992)  Pages:121-138
Author(s): C Grob; M D de Rios
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 18
Type: Survey (Cross-Cultural)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study analyzes adolescent hallucinogenic plant ingestion during initiation rituals among Australian Aboriginal males, Tshonga females in Mozambique, and Chumash Indian youth of southern California.
Abstract: The data on drug use in culturally based initiations of youth in the aforementioned societies show important similarities. In all cases, the hallucinogenic plants were used to create states of consciousness, particularly hypersuggestible ones, so as to enculturate the adolescents with fast-paced educational experiences necessary for their survival and bonding as adult members of the community. This was congruent with the goals and values of the societies involved. These states were created to heighten learning and to create a bonding among members of the cohort group, when appropriate, so that individual psychic needs would be subsumed to the needs of the social group. The social and cultural structure for the passage of youth into adulthood has been lost in contemporary societies. In the absence of structures for initiation into adulthood, youth are left with alienation and despair. Perhaps drug addiction in contemporary societies reflects an intrinsic quest by the individual for transcendent experience and for personal meaning and identity. 38 references
Main Term(s): Cultural influences; Juvenile drug use
Index Term(s): Aborigines; American Indians; Australia; California; Mozambique
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