Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Public Health

Degree Type

Master of Public Health


America is a drug-oriented society. For many years people have used drugs for recreational purposes. However, there has been ongoing controversy regarding drug abuse and drug use. The purpose of this study was to assess attitudes and beliefs of successful adult drug users as it relates to drug reform, effectiveness of current drug laws, and problem experiences that they may have encountered as a result of their drug use. A qualitative study utilizing three open-ended questions regarding the aforementioned areas was conducted to analyze the 156 individuals' responses. The respondents were found to be in agreement on the ineffectiveness of current drug laws and for reform of these laws. Thirty-eight (62.3%) respondents also were in favor of marijuana, specifically, being legalized. Lawmakers should give careful consideration of reform of drug laws, especially as it relates to proper education about drugs and drug use as well as refining the rehabilitation programs and sanctioning of drug abusers. They should also consider the evidence that drug use does not always lead to drug abuse and that some recreational drug users can live normal, happy and successful lives in spite of their drug use. Future research should explore in greater detail and with larger samples adult drug users' attitudes, beliefs and behavior stemming from their use.


Public Health | Substance Abuse and Addiction