The Role of the Curiosity in Interviews with Drug Users

  • Jozsef Racz Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Keywords: curiosity, drug use, excuse, justification, interview account


In studies with questionnaires the main reason reported for trying drugs is the curiosity. However, curiosity does not have an unambiguous meaning. The word itself (in English as well as in Hungarian) has more, sometimes contradictory meanings. In my own research I examined the usage of the term curiosity among injecting and non-injecting drug users in qualitative interviews, conducted in Hungary. I encountered different functions of curiosity: in accounts it appeared as an excuse or, less frequently, as justification of drug use behaviour. Contrary to dominant contemporary drug policy literature, drug users themselves rarely used curiosity as the cause of their drug use in the context of its risk or dangers. The results of this research on curiosity demonstrate that the normalisation of drug use, which is already in progress in Western countries, has not yet taken place in Hungary. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0802166


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Author Biography

Jozsef Racz, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Jozsef Racz, M.D., Ph.D., psychiatrist, is a senior researcher of the Institute for Psychology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. His research interest is the social meaning and context of drug use, the narratives of drug users and of recovered drug users; his main research method is the qualitative interviewing. He also teaches at the Semmelweis University (Budapest), Faculty of Health Studies (head of the Department of Addiction Medicine). His teaching subjects are addiction medicine and qualitative methods. He is the director of the Blue Point Drug Counselling and Outpatient Centre (an NGO in Budapest): a treatment and a harm reduction centre for drug users.
How to Cite
Racz, J. (2008). The Role of the Curiosity in Interviews with Drug Users. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 9(2).
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