Social Psychology of Drug Policy: Dislocation and Dissonance Theory
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The war on drugs is, arguably, a failed social policy, and yet it persists. This thesis uses scholarly review and analysis to ask: What is the social and individual psychology that accounts for the endurance of a demonstratively failed drug policy? From there, this inquiry goes on to ask what is the social and individual psychology that informs change in appropriate drug policy? This study finds that there is a relationship between addiction and dislocation due to stigma, and that one of the main driving forces behind the continuation of drug prohibition is cognitive dissonance. Two empirically validated treatments for addiction are reviewed. Family therapy is connected to the theory of dislocation, and motivational interviewing is connected to dissonance theory.