PREFACE

In the minds of both professionals and the lay public, governmental regulatory agencies and other formal organizations which promulgate laws, rules, or guidelines are responsible for controlling the use of intoxicants. Clearly, formal regulation is a fundamental way of providing society with limits and boundaries for acceptable intoxicant use by overseeing the importing, manufacture, distribution, and use of licit substances while specifying penalties for the importing, manufacture, distribution, and use of illicit substances. Formal, institutionally sponsored controls alone, however, do not influence the use of intoxicants; they, in fact, provide merely a skeletal framework to be filled in by informal social regulatory mechanisms, such as customs and rituals, and internalized intrapsychic controls.

This volume focuses on the interrelationship among formal institutional, informal social, and personal intrapsychic controls. Inasmuch as the influence of both individual personality structure (personal intrapsychic controls) and formal regulatory mechanisms has been discussed many times in the past, several of our contributors emphasize the less well understood role of informalsocial controls. And some find that these controls are enormously influential when applied to any activity involving habitual patterns of behavior, including the use of intoxicants.

Attempts to integrate issues related to the three levels of control require consideration by diverse disciplines. Hence, epidemiologists, psychologists, lawyers, sociologists, bench scientists, biostaticians, and others participated in this endeavor, and their specialized approaches delineate various aspects of the whole. As that whole has not been thoroughly framed in the past, our Introduction to this volume discusses the overlap and uniqueness of the different points of view.

In the course of writing the Introduction it became increasingly obvious that, historically, the entire Add is relatively new. With few exceptions, such as the writings of Lindesmith, Dole and Nyswander, Becker and Chein-and even their work was done within the last fifty years-the publications cited in each paper refer to work done within the last twenty years. It is as if the field barely existed before the Drug Revolution of the early sixties. This volume, then, is intended to help define the field of substance use and misuse and to integrate the relationship among internalized intrapsychic controls (individual personality structures), informal social controls, and formal social controls.

Norman E. Zinberg, M.D. Wayne M. Harding, Ed.M. Cambridge, MA

May 1980