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Personal construction of cough medicine among young substance abusers in Hong Kong.

Shek DT - ScientificWorldJournal (2012)

Bottom Line: First, personal constructions of cough medicine were mixed, including the benefits and harmful effects of its abuse.Fourth, relative to the construed similarity between heroin and the gateway drugs (cigarette, beer, and liquor), the informants construed cough medicine to be more similar to the gateway drugs.Finally, a higher level of perceived dissimilarity between cough medicine and gateway drugs was related to a higher level of perceived harm of cough medicine abuse.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong. daniel.shek@polyu.edu.hk

ABSTRACT
Although cough medicine abuse is a growing problem in many places, there is no study examining the views of young substance abusers toward cough medicine. The objective of this study was to examine personal constructions of cough medicine abusers via the repertory grid tests (N = 11). Several observations are highlighted from the study. First, personal constructions of cough medicine were mixed, including the benefits and harmful effects of its abuse. Second, although the informants perceived cough medicine to be addictive and harmful, they perceived cough medicine to be less addictive and less harmful than did heroin. Third, while the informants construed cough medicine to be similar to ketamine and marijuana, they also perceived cough medicine to possess some characteristics of heroin. Fourth, relative to the construed similarity between heroin and the gateway drugs (cigarette, beer, and liquor), the informants construed cough medicine to be more similar to the gateway drugs. Finally, a higher level of perceived dissimilarity between cough medicine and gateway drugs was related to a higher level of perceived harm of cough medicine abuse.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Representation of cough medicine and other drugs and non-drugs in the psychological space in terms of the first principal component (informant no. 7).
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Related In: Results  -  Collection


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fig1: Representation of cough medicine and other drugs and non-drugs in the psychological space in terms of the first principal component (informant no. 7).

Mentions: An illustration based on case no. 7 can give some ideas on the informant's perception of cough medicine and other drugs. The informant was aged 28, and he had tried heroin, marijuana, tranquilizers, ecstasy, and cough medicine. He began abusing cough medicine at the age of 14. His usual consumption of cough medicine was once every day, and he had abused cough medicine for more than once every day in the past three months. On the day of interview, he claimed that he had just consumed a bottle of cough medicine before attending the interview. With reference to Table 3, the informant construed the consumption of cough medicine generating the following characteristics: feeling comfortable (2 times), feeling “wing,” feeling “high,” feeling gratified, feeling excited, relatively more toxic, feeling less painful (2 times), and having greater harm. The informant's representation of cough medicine and other drugs and non-drugs in his psychological space in terms of the first principal components analysis is presented in Figure 1. In the figure, it is evident that the informant construed the different types of drugs to be relatively the same (that would give “high” and “gratified” feelings, but they would kill you) that were very different from the nondrugs.


Personal construction of cough medicine among young substance abusers in Hong Kong.

Shek DT - ScientificWorldJournal (2012)

Representation of cough medicine and other drugs and non-drugs in the psychological space in terms of the first principal component (informant no. 7).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3345261&req=5

fig1: Representation of cough medicine and other drugs and non-drugs in the psychological space in terms of the first principal component (informant no. 7).
Mentions: An illustration based on case no. 7 can give some ideas on the informant's perception of cough medicine and other drugs. The informant was aged 28, and he had tried heroin, marijuana, tranquilizers, ecstasy, and cough medicine. He began abusing cough medicine at the age of 14. His usual consumption of cough medicine was once every day, and he had abused cough medicine for more than once every day in the past three months. On the day of interview, he claimed that he had just consumed a bottle of cough medicine before attending the interview. With reference to Table 3, the informant construed the consumption of cough medicine generating the following characteristics: feeling comfortable (2 times), feeling “wing,” feeling “high,” feeling gratified, feeling excited, relatively more toxic, feeling less painful (2 times), and having greater harm. The informant's representation of cough medicine and other drugs and non-drugs in his psychological space in terms of the first principal components analysis is presented in Figure 1. In the figure, it is evident that the informant construed the different types of drugs to be relatively the same (that would give “high” and “gratified” feelings, but they would kill you) that were very different from the nondrugs.

Bottom Line: First, personal constructions of cough medicine were mixed, including the benefits and harmful effects of its abuse.Fourth, relative to the construed similarity between heroin and the gateway drugs (cigarette, beer, and liquor), the informants construed cough medicine to be more similar to the gateway drugs.Finally, a higher level of perceived dissimilarity between cough medicine and gateway drugs was related to a higher level of perceived harm of cough medicine abuse.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong. daniel.shek@polyu.edu.hk

ABSTRACT
Although cough medicine abuse is a growing problem in many places, there is no study examining the views of young substance abusers toward cough medicine. The objective of this study was to examine personal constructions of cough medicine abusers via the repertory grid tests (N = 11). Several observations are highlighted from the study. First, personal constructions of cough medicine were mixed, including the benefits and harmful effects of its abuse. Second, although the informants perceived cough medicine to be addictive and harmful, they perceived cough medicine to be less addictive and less harmful than did heroin. Third, while the informants construed cough medicine to be similar to ketamine and marijuana, they also perceived cough medicine to possess some characteristics of heroin. Fourth, relative to the construed similarity between heroin and the gateway drugs (cigarette, beer, and liquor), the informants construed cough medicine to be more similar to the gateway drugs. Finally, a higher level of perceived dissimilarity between cough medicine and gateway drugs was related to a higher level of perceived harm of cough medicine abuse.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus