The strain/ anomie theory explains that people resort to drug abuse when they fail to achieve success in society. The society is competitive and achievement-oriented and those who fail to succeed come up with unusual mechanisms to handle failure. When these mechanisms also fail, they resort to drug abuse. The social control theory explains that individuals get involved in drug abuse because of lack of societal rules encouraging conventionality. If these rules are weak, individuals will adopt unconventional behavior including drug abuse. Greater involvement in conventional activities reduces the likelihood of involvement in activities like drug abuse. The self-control theory suggests that individuals abuse drugs because of lack of self-control, caused by the inability of the society or parents to control the behavior of their children. People abuse drugs because there is no custodian to stop them (Kaplan, Martin and Robbins, 1984).
The social learning theory suggests that people learn good or bad behavior depending on the groups they interact with. Interacting with groups that reward and reinforce drug use leads to adoption of the behavior. The subcultural theory explains that interacting with social groups that encourage drug use leads to an individual’s adoption of the habit while the individual gets discouraged from the habit by interacting with groups that discourage drug use (Hanson, Venturelli and Fleckenstein, 2011). Selective interaction theory suggests that individuals are attracted to particular drug using groups because their principles and beliefs are harmonious with those of drug users. The conflict theory explains that drug abuse is related to the power and social class of individuals. The rich and powerful individuals are less likely to be involved in drug use than the lower class and low-earning individuals.