Responsible Drug Use
A Duncanian Perspective on the Responsibilities of the Recreational Drug User
Drug use refers to the use of a drug in such a manner that it achieves the purposes for which it was taken with minimal hazard to the user or others around the user. Social/recreational use of drugs has been defined as use that occurs within social settings and is motivated by a desire to share pleasurable experiences among friends.
Both definitions imply that the person choosing to use psychoactive drugs in a social/recreational context has the responsibility of using the drugs with minimal hazard and of contributing to the pleasurable experience of being with friends in a social setting. These are important reponsibilities that should not be overlooked. However, understanding those responsibilities and being able to live up to them requires knowledge about drugs and a commitment to their responsible use. Dr. David F. Duncan, who has been called "the Stephen Hawkings of public health," and his colleague Robert S. Gold have described these responsibilities in terms of three broad classes: situational responsibilities, health responsibilities, and safety-related responsibilities.
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