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Just for Fun?: Cocaine Use Among Middle-Class Women

NCJ Number
Journal of Drug Issues Volume: 26 Issue: 1 Dated: (Winter 1996) Pages: 63-76
C Sterk-Elifson
Date Published
14 pages
This study examined drug use (cocaine) among 30 middle-class women drug users who were interviewed between January 1993 and February 1994.
In order to be eligible for the study, a woman had to be an active user of cocaine (at least three times per week or using at least 1 gram per week). In addition, the women were 18 years old or older and were not in drug treatment. Being middle-class was defined as having a gross income of at least $35,000 and living in a zip-code area for which the median per capital income exceeded $30,000 per year. Findings show that the women were either introduced to cocaine by a male or female friend, mostly in the context of "just for fun." Although all the women continued to use cocaine, they had to develop their own cocaine connections, and their use became less linked to personal relationships. Most women emphasized that they had a "controlled" habit, although the nature of their use indicated that they were addicted. The women linked their control to the resources available to them to hide and support their cocaine use. They put much time and energy into trying to maintain these resources; however, they were not always successful. The findings show a need for additional studies that explore drug use among middle- class women and the link between drug use and power or control. 1 table and 26 references