Zinberg's Model: Drug, Set And Setting Essay

659 words - 3 pages

People have always used drugs to alter their state of consciousness, eagerly seeking out whatever naturally occurring substances can be used as drugs, and wherever possible deliberately cultivating them (Gossop, 2013). According to the Australian Drug Foundation a survey found that 41.8% of Australians aged 14 years and over had used illicit drugs in their lifetime ( “Drug info Statistical Trends”, 2016).
The purpose of this essay is to describe the three components of the Interaction Model by Zinberg (1984); the interaction between the drug, set and the setting factors - i.e. the drug, the individual and the environment. The essay will discuss why the individual drug-use experience may be different every time a person uses a psychoactive drug. A psychoactive drug is defined as a substance that acts on the brain to cause some psychological effect (Bernstein et. al., 2013).
Zinberg’s Interaction Model (drug, set and setting) helps to explain the subjective drug use experience. It shows us how all three factors, the drug, set and setting, can change our experiences on many different occasions. As he explains the active nature of a person’s drug use experience, he noted that, as with other human behaviour, that drug use is learnt, active and functional. An individuals tolerance, physical and mental health, mood, physical state, personality, age, gender, family and cultural history and expectations of drugs influence their drug use experience. The drug use experience is also influenced by whether a person is administering by themselves or company occurrence. The cost, legal status, social acceptability, and relative ease of access influence the drug of choice, safety and route of consumption.
The relationship between the individuals expectations and the drug has been explored in various studies. In Australia and New Zealand, for example, loss of inhibition, increased anger and violence, and sexual promiscuity are often associated with drinking alcohol. These effects are not seen in all cultures… When Europeans brought alcohol to...

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