Drug abuse is a major public issue concerned by the general public. The objective of this research is to investigate the relation among drug behavior, mental cognition and environmental influences for the first-time adult male drug users. In addition, the correlation between mental cognition and degree of environmental influences will also be studied. Suggestions and strategies derived from the result will be proposed for government authorities for formulating an effective strategy against drug abuse.
Through the study and analysis of literature references, different aspects of problems are incorporated into a questionnaire scale. A questionnaire survey is conducted on 431 drug offenders in the Penghu Prison. The results are analyzed using the SPSS 10.0 statistic software to determine the fundamental characteristics of the samples and the presence of dissimilarity and correlation between the mental cognition and environmental influences for samples with different attributes.
The result revealed that, in terms of the fundamental characteristics, the age group of first-time adult male users is primarily between 18-24 years old, when teenagers are about to enter their adulthood. The ratio of first-time drug abuse declines with the increase of age. The ratio of heroin and amphetamine used in the first-time drug abuse is 46% versus 54%. Despite the expensive price and addictive nature, no significant reduction is observed in the frequency of heroin use. More single users are observed, indicating that most first-time use takes place before marriage. As for the education level, first-time users are mainly junior high school graduates, and the number declines with higher education received. In terms of occupation, the percentage of labor and driver population are the highest among first-time drug users, while the percentage of farmers, fishermen, soldiers, government servants and teachers are the lowest. Financial ability is the basic requirement of drug abuse; therefore, there is a positive correlation between the percentage of first-time adult male users and the level of monthly income. Having friends who are doing drugs is a prerequisite and hence over 90% of first-time adult male users have, on average, three drug user friends.
In regard to the mental cognition, researches discovered that most adult male users are in lack of a deep and correct understanding towards the danger of drugs. Most drug users in general hold a less negative attitude towards drugs and believe they will be luckier. At the same time, they have a higher expectation towards the psychological relief which they believe can be brought upon by drugs. As for the environmental influences, peer pressure has the highest impact on the first-time adult male drug users. Other factors such as cheap drugs and easily accessible drug environment resulted from ineffective anti-drug policies, inadequate media report under highly developed society, curiosity and unhealthy social culture all have a significant influence. Family, however, does not show any significant influence over first-time adult male drug users. Finally, no significant correlation between the mental cognition of self-control on drug behavior and family influence is observed for first-time adult male users in the research conducted on the relation between mental cognition and environmental influences. Yet, a relative degree of correlation exists between the overall mental cognition and environmental influences, where a mutually amplifying characteristic is observed between the two factors. This indicates that mental cognition and environmental influences are both critical risk factors for first-time adult male drug users.
Suggestions are made in our research that the promotional tasks should be reinforced, pressure management should be focused, comprehensive family functions should be established, positive development should be encouraged among peers, anti-drug units should be organized, long-term drug abuse monitoring mechanism should be constructed, and alternative thinkings should be incorporated into drug policies. The suggestions are of great importance for preventing first-time drug use by adult males and can be used as a reference by the government.