Module 12: working with intoxicated young people: learner's workbook

6.1 Environmental factors that influence the experience of intoxication

Page last updated: 2004

Drug use and intoxication cannot be thought of as an isolated act but rather something that takes place within the context of the broader environment. Several aspects of the environment are significant in terms of understanding and influencing the experience of intoxication. These factors include social settings, immediate circumstances of use, cultural factors and formal/informal sanctions on use.

Environmental factors interact with the drug used and individual characteristics of a young person and must be considered when attempting to understand young people's experience of intoxication. Drugs are used in a number of social settings, which produce very different experiences for the user. This is known as the Interaction model (see Diagram).

Question - What are some environmental factors that might influence a young person's experience of intoxication?

Answer - (Write your answer, then check the possible answers page.)


Question - Review the list of environmental factors you generated in the previous exercise. Having considered the above information, write down any environmental factors that you have missed in your list.

Diagram: Adapted from Zinberg's interaction model of drug use

Text equivalent below for Diagram: Adapted from Zinberg's interaction model of drug useTop of page

Text version of Diagram

The three components that lead to the drug use experience are:
  • the individual;
  • the environment; and
  • the drug.