This post continues the discussion in some previous posts about understanding teenage drug use. In the first post Ruth, a nurse who has worked in psych wards and prisons, illustrated the nature of the problem by telling the sad story of a man who has been suffering from drug induced psychosis (DIP) over a long period following an incident just before his 18th birthday. In the second post we explored whether viewing drug taking as a rational choice helped us to understand the problem. I concluded that it tended to put the problem back into the too hard basket.
So, if you want to understand why people behave the way the do it may help to know how this behaviour relates to the way they think of themselves. Kids who engage in particularly risky thrill-seeking or escapist behaviour possibly obtain some satisfaction from thinking of themselves as the kinds of people who do that kind of thing.
Ruth has responded with some encouraging comments about the potential for identity economics to help in exploring the drug-using phenomenon. Her response is in the following post.