This study analyzed the pharmacological effects, situational contexts and processual dynamics of methamphetamine use, distribution, and violence, using interviews. Evidence supports previous research that suggests continuity from youth aggression to adult violence. Findings indicate that long-term influences - family, psychological/personality, and peer factors lead to the development of fairly stable, slowly changing differences between individuals in their potential for violence. Superimposed on these long-term between-individual differences are short-term within-individual variations in violence potential. For many of the sample members that engaged in violence, chronic methamphetamine use had a disorganizing effect on their cognitive functions, which in turn lead to distorted interpretations of behavior and reduced an individual's ability to use various coping devices in situations seen as threatening. The study could find no evidence of a single, uniform career path that all chronic methamphetamine users follow. Most germane to this study, it discovered that violence is not an inevitable outcome of even chronic amphetamine use.
Ira Sommers received his doctorate in social work in 1983 from the University of Pennsylvania. He was a NIMH post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Massachusetts -Amherst, Department of Sociology. Currently, Dr. Sommers is a Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at California State University, Los Angeles. Over the course of his academic career, Dr. Sommers has conducted and published research on a wide range of topics, including female offending, substance abuse and violence, forensic mental health, and domestic violence. Deborah Baskin received her doctorate in sociology in 1984 from the University of Pennsylvania. Currently, she is a Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at California State University, Los Angeles. Dr. Baskin has published on a variety of topics, including female offending, substance abuse and violence, and forensic mental health.
Preface; Introduction; 1. Methamphetamine: A Brief Overview; 2. Substance Abuse and Violent Behavior; 3. Research Methods; 4. Description of the Sample; 5. Getting into Methamphetamine; 6. Methamphetamine Use and Violence; 7. The Social Context of Methamphetamine; 8. Violence; 9. Conclusions; References; Index