To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Youth, heroin, crack: a review of recent British trends

Toby Seddon (University of Manchester, Manchester, UK)

Health Education

ISSN: 0965-4283

Article publication date: 18 April 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the research evidence on recent British trends in the use of heroin and/or crack‐cocaine by young people in order to appraise the scale and nature of the contemporary health problem they pose.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach consists of a narrative review of the main current data sources on young people's drug use.

Findings

Use of heroin or crack‐cocaine is rare in Britain in the general population of young people and is concentrated more amongst young adults than adolescents. There is some evidence for associations between use of these drugs and socio‐economic disadvantages, although the links are complex. There may be fruitful connections to be made between drug policy and public health strategies for tackling health inequalities.

Practical implications

Embedding responses to young people's heroin/crack use within mainstream strategies to tackle health inequalities may be mutually beneficial to both policy agendas.

Originality/value

Situating in its proper evidential context the emotive issue of young people's use of what are believed to be the most dangerous illicit drugs, and appraising these data from a public health perspective, may lead to a more realistic and appropriate research and policy response.

Keywords

Citation

Seddon, T. (2008), "Youth, heroin, crack: a review of recent British trends", Health Education, Vol. 108 No. 3, pp. 237-246. https://doi.org/10.1108/09654280810867105

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited