The main focus on this specific article was to inform the use of cocaine among women in the middle class. Usually drug use among the middle class tends to be, or tries to be, hidden from the majority of the people. The more resources one has, the better the chances are at hiding their drug usage. Although once identified as a drug abuser, the middle class women are less likely to come out in public to receive help, if they seek help at all.
Women, although they identify as having a cocaine addiction, they are more concerned about controlling it more so than men are. A study was conducted that involved thirty drug users who were considered middle-class. The study was to expand knowledge about the drug usage amongst women. The women had to be using cocaine at least three times per week, 18 or up and currently not in any type of treatment.
Because they are considered middle class due to the position of their partner, they were not looked at financially alone. Once decided if they were eligible for this study, they were told more about it and received a payment. Interviews were held in a vast majority of public places. All interviews were recorded. The majority of the women were in their early twenties, half were white and married, more than half were employed and a little over a half had children.The first time many women had encountered the use of cocaine it was very memorable. For half the women it was the first drug they have ever used and the other half had used others such as marijuana.
For the most part, women were introduced to the drug by friends. Men are usually a romantic partner or have the potential to be one. Women are usually involved because of personal matters at home or in the workplace. The premonitions of the effects of cocaine have always been taught in the media to be effective immediately and to be very controlling. Many of these women who used cocaine for the first time were highly disappointed when the effects were not what they hyped in their mind to be. This may be because these women did not know the effects of cocaine so therefore they could not know what they were experiencing. “Thus, they started defining intranasal cocaine use as “safe,” thereby reducing any barriers the women might have had against future use” (Sterk-Elifson 67-68).
Once this was stated, the women’s tendency to feel like they can control their habit initiated their drug usage even more or for future use. Once the women had already tried cocaine once, usually the next time was due to a friend offering. Women did not have the tendency to directly ask for the drug but instead subtly brought it up in conversation. Although many women who were introduced to the drug by other women have been known to be more assertive when asking for cocaine. When asking men, they tend to be more lenient on when they are willing to partake in the usage of cocaine. The relationships of these two genders have been found to be different.
The relationship with other women are usually longer and from many many years ago and the relationship with men is usually newer and usually involve sexual activity. Women experience sexual exploitation more so like women in lower economic statuses. Relationships with men usually ended up being toxic. At the beginning, the relationship was usually civil and were friends but towards the end the cocaine gradually became more important.
The women started to not care how toxic the relationship was and continually let the men take control. As long as the women let the men do as they please with the usage of cocaine and how frequently they use it then the men will always try and be in control. If the relationship ended then the women were sad and scared because now they have to tell someone else about their drug addiction, usually another man. Once the women started to look for other potential partners, they began to become less picky with the type of men as long as they could give them the drug.
Once this pattern started, the women started to acquire the same principles as if the friends were both women and not opposites. Hiding the transactions deemed to be important. Over half of the married women hid the usage from their husbands. They hid the transactions by not buying as many clothes or as much food.
The dealers tend to be well hidden when dealing with middle class people. Things are more personal and the dealer will more than likely come to the women whereas in lower class neighborhoods it might be obvious when it is a drug deal. Some dealers will cut the women off if they see fit. Women who have children or a job have been able to limit their usage in order to not tip anybody off. If they were to be caught they could lose their job or their children and that is something that many of them do not want.
Some women have became the dealer for other middle class women and that has negatively added onto their addiction. They sometimes steal from the stash of cocaine or charge more than they paid for it. Some women have shown that even though they do have an addiction they can control how little or how much they use at a time. Other women have proven to have gone downhill very quickly. Some do not want to be dominated so therefore they have found their own connections and have deemed when or when not to indulge in their urges for the use of cocaine.