The purpose of this paper is to explore prevalence, contexts and motives for the use of various benzodiazepines, sedatives and opioids among injection drug users in Frankfurt’s open drug scene.
The paper uses quantitative data from ten waves of the bi-annual open drug scene survey carried out within the frames of the Frankfurt local drug monitoring system (MoSyD) and an additional sample of qualitative interviews to highlight the individual user perspectives as well as professional insights.
The results suggest that the prescription drugs act as “support drugs” when the drugs of choice are not available or affordable. Patterns of use also show that by acting to manage withdrawal symptoms, insomnia and relieving stress, prescription drugs also contribute to maintaining daily functionality.
The paper contributes to the discussion on the motives and functions of prescription drug use in an urban open drug scene.
MoSyD survey is funded by the city of Frankfurt. The authors declare no conflict of interests.
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