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How has recreational drug use, whilst as a young adult, had an effect on an individual in later life?

The Literature Review should:
• include two or three relevant research studies that are selectively focussed to the
topic discussed, and each paragraph concerning the literature must be linked back to
your proposal
• discuss of any conflicting findings/opinions in the literature
• explain how your proposed research will address gaps you have indentify in the
• integrate the research question throughout
• present your ideas clearly and logically
• analyse, evaluate and correctly reference a wide range of sources
• provide an introduction and conclusion
• be structured correctly, including an introduction and conclusion, have good written
expression including spelling and grammar, and be presented and referenced
according to the Academic Skills Guide

Below is a copy of the Preliminary Research Proposal for the Topic. Please read to get an understanding of the point of view for the research proposal that requires this Literature Review.


The Research Topic and Sub Question
The research question for this proposal is“How has recreational drug use, whilst as a young adult, had an effect on an individual in later life?” This study sets out to evaluate the impact of recreational drug use during late teenage years and early adulthood impact on the individual’s life trajectory. In particular, this study sets out to investigate the long terms impact of Cannabis, Ecstasy and Cocaine use on a group of …. [insert your sample]. To this effect, the primary research question of this study is “ [insert question]”.
Sub questions of this research are: How has the use of recreational drugs in their early 20’s affected the participant’s career paths and earning potential? What is their perceived impact to their mental ability, social skills and interpersonal skills due to their participation in recreational drugs use in their early adult life?
The drugs in question are Cannabis, Ecstasy and Cocaine (The World Drug Report, 2011). Cannabis and Cocaine where still two of the top three illicit drugs in 1992 with ecstasy showing the most growth and by the mid 90’s it was in the top three (The World Drug Report, 1992,1995). These drugs continue to be the most widely used illicit drugs today. Recreational drug use refers to the use of substance with pharmacological effects that are taken voluntarily for pleasure (Wadsworth, 2004).
Aims and Objectives
The purpose of this research is to understand the long term effects of occasional drug use on individuals and whether responsible drug taking, to enhance recreational activities, and to gain an increased understanding of how this is similar to or may be different from social drinking One of the aims of this research is to contribute to the debate pertaining to the legalisation of certain drugs. There is literature that suggests that By controlling the manufacture of Cannabis and Ecstasy it will severely impact drug related crime, as many criminal gangs are funded through the manufacturering of these drugs (Bretteville-Jensen, 2006).
A further consequence of legalisation is that the chemicals used to manufacture these drugs can be monitored, which in turn makes them a much safer option than drugs made in backstreet drug labs (reference). As will be described in the literature review of this paper, There is significant evidence that outlines the dangers of drug addiction just as there is plenty of research that discusses the danger of alcoholism (reference). However, as will be argued later in this work, whilst studies have been done to understand responsible drinking there has not been as much research on responsible drug taking (reference – unless you say “as will be argued later in this work ….”. This research aims to understand if responsible drug taking is an option in today’s society. Good

Relevant Literature in this Field
The use of recreational drugs and its varying consequence is a well researched area of study; many of these studies have shown that drug use leads to serious consequences for users in later life and portraying drug use as deviant (reference). For example, Many studies conducted in a positivism methodology prove that the smoking of cannabis and taking of ecstasy lead to a decline in cognitive ability (Gouzoulis-Mayfranka, 1999; Parrott, Milani, Gouzoulis-Mayfranka & Daumann, 2007; Bretteville-Jensen, 2006).
Many other studies also show that continued use of illicit drugs leads to violent behaviour and breakdown of relationships and social skills (Friedman, 1998; Friedman & Utada,1992; Greenbaum, Foster-Johnson & Petrilia, 1996).
Howard Parkers research at the University of Manchester in the UK however, discusses the normalisation of drug use within the social context of young adults and that responsibly drug taking is become increasingly apparent in the social lives of conventional young adults. (Parker, Williams, & Aldridge, 2002) good. Howard Parkers study captured data from 465 young adults across the North West of the United Kingdom in the year 2000 and identified Cannabis as the most widely used drug and dance drugs such as Ecstasy second. Cocaine was found to be the quickest growing trend. A similar study was conducted in Melbourne (Duff, 2005). Good
Whilst there is plenty of research indicating that prolonged drug use has negative long term impacts, the study of responsible drug taking appears somewhat neglected.
The intention is to primarily use a qualitative method of research through interviews and questionnaires. In addition, quantitative methods will be employed when collating the data to analyse specifics, such as, x percentage of participants who used cannabis and ecstasy for a number of years in their 20’s have been earning in excess of $120,000, in a professional career, since their mid 30’s. ok – I think you’re going for a mixed method approach. Collect qual and quant data through interviews and questionnaires.
The participants for this research will be male and female, professional and semi-professional individuals over the age of the forty. The target is to interview 500 people who have used or still use drugs for recreational purposes.
Participants will be recruited through a number of different avenues. In first instance … A couple of recruitment methods that will be tried will include working with the Human Resources department of large Corporations to gain access to their employees through confidential one on one interviews or confidential questionnaires. An additional method would be to advertise for paid interviews through local media. The only criteria will be for the participants to be over 40 and to have taken at least one of the three illicit drugs outlined for this research, earlier in their life.
The data will be collected through one on one interviews and questionnaires. Questions to be asked will aim to collect information pertaining to their current job, career prospects, current earnings and earning potential, marital status, family life, health issues and personal regrets about their drug taking. – link to literature
Ethical Issues
Due to society’s view of the subject matter, this research has an enormous amount of ethical issues to consider. Participation in this research will be completely voluntary; however, participants will be financially compensated for cooperating. All participants and their responses will remain anonymous and the data collected will be treated with the utmost confidentiality. A informed consent form will be signed by the participant and the researcher stating that the information collected will remain anonymous. Good – but this section needs references
Contribution of the Proposed Study to the Field – move to your lit review or aims and objectives (I haven’t marked you down for it)
The findings of this research will hopefully contribute to the debate concerning the legalisation and monitoring of certain drugs. Health related issues due the use of Cannabis, Cocaine and Ecstasy are far less than those that relate to the use of alcohol and tobacco (WHO, 2009). The research will determine whether there is an argument for the responsible use of these drugs and whether they necessarily lead to physical or social problems.
The World Health Organisation argue that drugs such as Cannabis, due to its illegality, is cultivated, harvested and distributed without any quality control mechanisms and as such the safety to the users is at risk. Should cannabis be produced legally under strict guidelines the quality, from a safety perspective, will be greatly enhanced (WHO, 2009)
Project Timeline
The preparation of the questionnaire and interview questions will take no more than two weeks, however, gaining access to 500 willing participants will take much longer and therefore six months has been allocated to find and interview the participants. It will then take a further month to analyse the data collected and an additional three weeks to write the final report.

References – good
Bretteville-Jensen, A. 2006. To Legalize or Not To Legalize? Economic Approaches to the Decriminalization of Drugs, Vol. 41, No. 4 , Sirus, Oslo.

Duff, C. 2005. ‘International Journal of Drug Policy’ Party drugs and party people: examining the ‘normalization’ of recreational drug use in Melbourne, Australia. Vol.16 no.3, pp161-170.

Friedman, A. S. 1998, ‘Substance use/abuse as a predictor to illegal and violent behavior: A
review of the relevant literature’, Aggression and Violent Behavior, vol. 3, no. 4, pp.

Friedman, A. S. & Utada, A. 1992, ‘The family environment of adolescent drug abusers’,
Family Dynamics of Addictions Quarterly, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 32-45.

Gouzoulis-Mayfranka, E. 1999 – J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2000;68:719-725 doi:10.1136/jnnp.68.6.719. Paper. Impaired cognitive performance in drug free users of recreational ecstasy (MDMA). Euphrosyne

Greenbaum, P. E., Foster-Johnson, L. & Petrilia, A. 1996, ‘Co-occurring addictive and mental
disorder among adolescents: Prevalence research and future directions’, American
Journal of Orthopsychiatry, vol. 66, pp. 52-60.

Parker, H., Williams, L. & Aldridge, J. (2002). The Normalization of ‘Sensible’ Recreational Drug Use: Further Evidence from the North West Longitudinal Study, Sociology, 36(4): 941-964

Parrott, A,C. Milani, R,M. Gouzoulis-Mayfrank, E. and Daumann, J. 2007. Cannabis and Ecstasy/MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine): an analysis of their neuropsychobiological interactions in recreational users. Journal of Neural Transmission Volume 114, Number 8, 959-968.

UN Office on Drugs and Crime, World Drug Report 2011,

UN Office on Drugs and Crime, World Drug Report 1992, 2011,:

Wadsworth, E. J. K. 2004, ‘Factors associated with recreational drug use’, Journal of
Psychopharmacology, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 238-248.
World Health Organisation 2009. A Comparative Appraisal of the Health and Psychological Consequences of Alcohol, Cannabis, Nicotine and Opiate Use. Retrieved from


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