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factual bias

making factually and empirically false claims or assestions in order to justify a particular idea

selection bias

focusing on the particular facts that support a certain slant or position and ignoring those that challange or undermine it

ruling elite theory

argues that the media consciously and purposely serve the interests of the ruling elite.

Ideology is at the center of this theory, the ideology of the ruling elite


acceptance of the truth told by the ruling elite; institutional dominance

Money machine theory

argues that owners of newspaers and televisions are interested in the bottom line, not political indoctrination. They use sensationalized stories for ratings and profits.

grassroots theory

argues that the press responds to the biases of the public at large by reporting stories in waysthat are appealing to their readership as a whole.

professional subculture theory

the media approach the events of the day according to the distinct norms, expectations, and ethics of practitioners of the profession of journalism.


intending to amaze, thrill, or excite intense reactions through the use of exaggerated, superficial, or lurid elemtns.

Used in most drug stories in the media.

criminogenic effect

causing violance and crime.

Usually attributed to new drugs



Depictions of rare events (like dying from an overdose on x drug) as common.


federal bureau of narcotics

Marijuana in 1930s

sensational stories of marijuana causing people to "kill".

Harry Anslinger

chief of FBN during 1930s. Pushed for making marijuana illegal during the late 1930s.

LSD in the 1960s

painted as a drug that caused everyone to lose their mind.
Emphasis on the very rare cases where people had an extreme "bad" trip.
They also implied that LSD caused genetic damage

PcP in the 1970s

one, if not the most, dangerous drug to take.

Sensationalised for causing self mutilation or acts of extreme violance.

Some were true, but it was not the majority

Crack in the 1980s

media painted it as ultra addictive, one try and you are hooked.

Another theme was that use spread like wildfire. "Infested" neighborhoods (was never and is not popular compared to other drugs).

Claimed to be used by the eduated and rich (quite the opposite, mostly used by poors)

Created "crack babies" (found to be a myth).

Compared to the Black Death ( 25,000 deaths, from ALL illicit drugs, to 75 million is clearly the same...)


depicted as more dangerous than crack, spreading like wildfire.

It is in fact not spreading like wildfire, and is mostly confined in the midwestern states.

It is one of the most harmful drugs, however, in terms of dependancy and pathology


refers to using two or more sources of information to focus on a single phenomenon

multiple confimation

when data sources used in triangulation agree with one another

Researching drug use

requires indirect sources of informations, such as surveys.

For legal drugs, sale figures can be used

Lying on surveys

most respondents will tell the aproximate truth if they believe they will remain anonymous.

Self reporting Surveys

relatively accurate (people who say they did are more likely to have done so than those who said they didn't)
Not accurate in the absolute sense because there is an issue of underreporting.


refers to the way that respondents in a survey are chosen. More of a problem than lying in surveys.

Descriptive statistics

describe what something is like in form of numbers

National Survey on Drug Use and Health

fond that 8.1% of americans have used illicit drugs during the prior month. 20 million

inferential statistics

attempt to measure cause-and-effect relationships between and among two or more factors or variables

The Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program (ADAM)

shows how many of those arrested are using illicit drugs. Shows that criminal offenders are highly likely to have used drugs.

Taken from 10 of the biggest counties in the country.

The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN)

tabulates the number of acute medical complications that are caused by or associated with the use of certain drugs.

Compares emergency department episodes and ME reports.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration

funds DAWN

ED episode

nonlethal, untoward, drug-related event that results in a visit to an ED facility with 24-hour services

"The Big Three"

Cocaine, Narcotics, Alcohol. Most dangerous drugs in America in terms of ED and ME figures

Monitoring the Future

Self reporting Survey administered by the University of Michigan.

Surveys high school students on drug use.

Shows alcohol as the highest used drug, then marijuana.

National Survey on Drug Use and Health

survey of the general population. Same as MTF keeping track of lifetime, yearly, 30-day, and daily prevalance.

Shows same patterns of use. Highest drug use is alcohol, then tabacco. Marijuana is the most used of illicit drugs.

Best survey on drug use

Alcohol use and Prohibition

alcohol use decreased during prohibition

Drug use during 1980s

decreased, despite "wildfire" theories by media

LSD use during 1960s

fairly low, despite media spotlight depicting its widespread use

prevalance rate

the number and percentage of people in the population who use a given drug during a disignated period

Prevalance rate among legal and illegal drugs

129 Million Alcohol
60 Million Tabacco
20 Million Illicit drugs

Continuance Rate

the number and proportion of people that use the drug regularly

Legal drugs have higher continuance rates than illegal drugs

Highest among alcohol users.
Highest illicit drug is Marijuana

Trend in use of drugs

the more deviant, unacceptable drugs are discontiuned or used sporadically compared to the continued and regular use of legal drugs

Consumption level

the amount of a drug that a person takes

life-cycle rates

age related and lifestyle related rates of drug use

Starts low, peaks in teenage and young adult years, then falls off at around 35 and levels out.

Absolute Alcohol

volume of ethenol contained in a given alcohol beverage.

Alcohol Consumption, 1700s-1900s

always a part of life. Beer and ciders.

Started rising in the early 1800s, drinking harder spirits.
Peaked in 1830s then started lowering due to temperance movement (anti heavy drinking).

fluctuated between the 1850s and 1900s. Started dropping after 1916 due to state prohibiton laws

Volstead Act/ 18th ammendment

made the manufacture or selling of alcohol illegal.

Alcohol Consuption during Prohibition

drinking lowered. Was twice the numbers before prohibion.

Alcohol Consumption, 1933-Present

slowly increased until it peaked during the early 1980s then declined in use throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

Started inching up late 1990s.

Drug use Trends over time: 1960s-1979

drug use of lsd was very low during start of 1960s, started rising faster in late 1960s and into 1970s.
Most widespread use of drugs was during 1970s.
Tolerance toward drugs peaked in the late 1970s, marjiuana was decriminilized for small possesion.

Drug Use- 1980s-Present

Dramatic decrease during the 80s.
Increased during the early 1990s till late 1990s.
Remained flat and even dipped from Late 1990s to late 2000s.

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