Dr. Hoffmann to Uncover the Myths of Adolescent Drug Use at the Annual Hickman Lecture

Dr. John Hoffmann, BYU professor of sociology, will give the 27th annual Hickman Lecture, “Myths of (Adolescent) Drug Use,” on Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 11:00 AM in 250 KMBL.

Hoffmann will be presenting research that he has conducted over the course of thirty years.

Hoffmann explained that in today’s world, there are many common misconceptions about drug use and through research we can identify which of these beliefs are accurate. He defined the word “myth” not as fake or false, but rather as an “oversimplification of things.”

Hoffmann says that one of his goals for this lecture is “dispelling some of these myths so we can better understand people involved in drug use and find better ways to help them.”

Some of the common misconceptions he will uncover include:

  • Heroin, Cocaine and Methamphetamine are “so good don’t even try them once”
  • Drug dependency may be a disease, but it’s an involuntary disease
  • The war on drugs is winnable- we can fight battles by punishing people, so they won’t use drugs
  • There is little we can do as parents and concerned citizens or as a society to reduce substance use

Hoffmann hopes that students and faculty alike will understand that, “there are things we can do as families, communities and as a society to reduce drug use and the associated harms.”

The lecture is in honor of Martin Berkeley Hickman, a BYU political science professor who served as the dean of the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences from 1970-1986. He founded the Women’s Research Institute, the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies, and the Family Studies Center, and is recognized as the father of BYU’s American Heritage program.  Hickman was renowned for his loyalty and dedication to his family, the Church, the college, and BYU.

The Martin B. Hickman Scholar Award is given annually to recognize a notable college faculty who follows Hickman’s example of service and dedication.

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