Attributions for drug use were assessed in three groups of drug users. Both questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were used. The drug users came from three sources – students (S, n = 12), Narcotics Anonymous (NA, n = 5) and a Glasgow-based residential rehabilitation unit (RH, n = 6). There were two associated hypotheses – (1) students should give less addicted explanations – i.e. they should give unstable but controllable attributions whereas RH and NA should give stable and uncontrollable patterns of attributions – and (2) NA attendees should give significantly more addicted attributions than those in RH. As expected, the NA and RH participants gave addicted attributions and the students gave attributions consistent with not being addicted. However NA's attributions were significantly more uncontrollable than those obtained from RH with no significant difference on the stability dimension. The implications of these results are discussed with reference to the effects of agency contact on attributions made.
- attribution theory
- narcotics anonymous