The rise in the availability of drugs and experimentation with them by Russian youth over the course of the 1990s suggests that drug use has become ‘normalized’ within Russian youth cultural practice. While this is indicative of the global nature of drugs markets, there remain significant differences in local patterns and practices of drug use. In Russia, one such difference stems from the high visibility of heroin on mainstream youth cultural scenes in many urban settings. This results in significant slippage between ‘recreational’ and ‘problem’ drug use that theories of the ‘normalization of recreational drug use’ fail to capture. In such contexts, heroin users talk about their drug use as everyday practices of choice and control in a way that resembles ‘recreational’ drug use. While this is a cause for concern, at the same time there is evidence that such users retain strong social – institutional, family and friendship – bonds that help prevent their slide into the subcultural isolation that normally accompanies drug dependency.
|Number of pages||30|
|Journal||Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|