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Book part
Publication date: 19 November 2020

Wilson Box

Illicit drug use amongst women in Zimbabwe is increasing. The most common drugs of choice are marijuana and new psychoactive substances like ecstasy, cough syrups with a…

Abstract

Illicit drug use amongst women in Zimbabwe is increasing. The most common drugs of choice are marijuana and new psychoactive substances like ecstasy, cough syrups with a high content of codeine, and other small intoxicating pills like mangemba (diazepam). The most affected population group are women between the ages of 20 to 40.

In a community engagement undertaken by Zimbabwe Civil Liberties and Drug Network in five of Zimbabwe’s provinces, socio, cultural and economic factors were identified as the drivers of increased engagement with the drug trade. The urge to be independent and the inter-related aspect of sex work were also identified as push factors accounting for the increase in illicit drug usage in the country. The community engagement showed most women use illicit drugs as a way of liberating themselves within a heavily patriarchal society and due to the traumas associated with sex work. Sex work in turn exposes women to opportunistic infections, rape, violence and sexual violence. Women perform different roles in the illicit drug economy. In their role as sellers of controlled drugs, women aimed to support their families, maximising the opportunities presented by life in illicit economies. Whilst advocacy groups are pressing for drug policy reform in Zimbabwe, interventions can be designed to help women extricate themselves from this quagmire through empowering them and having a drug policy that among other facets, strengthens communities.

Details

The Impact of Global Drug Policy on Women: Shifting the Needle
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-885-0

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Book part
Publication date: 15 April 2019

Christian Linder

This chapter investigates how new technologies of encryption and cryptocurrencies enable entrepreneurial opportunities outside legality in the dark net. Since ventures on…

Abstract

This chapter investigates how new technologies of encryption and cryptocurrencies enable entrepreneurial opportunities outside legality in the dark net. Since ventures on illicit dark net markets lack access to the legal system and to law enforcement agencies, they must rely on mechanisms for settling disputes with business partners without the involvement of mediating agencies. To this end, the presence of trust is decisive in coordinating cryptomarket activities. Hence, entrepreneurs on dark net markets utilize technology to gain trust, establishing new ways of drug dealing, with disruptive potential for classic illicit drug markets. Against this background, this chapter shows how technological change affects the identity of entrepreneurs on the dark net. Special emphasis is given to the entrepreneurs’ self-concept, their consumer service, knowledge and capabilities and how, in a holistic view, this development innovates the traditional way of dealing illicit drugs.

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Entrepreneurship and Development in the 21st Century
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-233-7

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2002

Andrew Smith and James A. Fitchett

Consumer research and marketing rarely examine illegal forms of economic life despite the fact that market terminology is often (and increasingly) applied to describe the…

Abstract

Consumer research and marketing rarely examine illegal forms of economic life despite the fact that market terminology is often (and increasingly) applied to describe the exchange relations in illicit markets like prostitution and drug consumption. Represents an attempt to use a consumer research perspective to explore the youth consumption of illicit recreational drugs. The findings show that the illicit structure of the market for recreational drugs has a direct effect on the consumer decision‐making process in terms of expectations, risk judgments and source credibility. The findings highlight the importance of social networks and implicit exchange relations in the market for recreation drugs. The paper concludes that there is value in a drawing on a consumer research approach to examine illicit marketing contexts.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 40 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2005

Hope Corman, Kelly Noonan, Nancy E. Reichman and Dhaval Dave

We use postpartum survey data linked to medical records and city-level drug prices to estimate the demand for illicit drugs among pregnant women. We find that a $10…

Abstract

We use postpartum survey data linked to medical records and city-level drug prices to estimate the demand for illicit drugs among pregnant women. We find that a $10 increase in the retail price of a gram of pure cocaine decreases illicit drug use by 12–15%. The estimated price effects for heroin are lower than for cocaine and are less robust across alternative model specifications. This study provides the first estimates of the effects of drug prices on prenatal drug use and yields important information about the potential of drug enforcement as a tool for reducing illicit drug use among pregnant women.

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Substance Use: Individual Behaviour, Social Interactions, Markets and Politics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-361-7

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Article
Publication date: 20 July 2020

Mohd Faizan, Raees Ahmad Khan and Alka Agrawal

Cryptomarkets on the dark web have emerged as a hub for the sale of illicit drugs. They have made it easier for the customers to get access to illicit drugs online while…

Abstract

Cryptomarkets on the dark web have emerged as a hub for the sale of illicit drugs. They have made it easier for the customers to get access to illicit drugs online while ensuring their anonymity. The easy availability of potentially harmful drugs has resulted in a significant impact on public health. Consequently, law enforcement agencies put a lot of effort and resources into shutting down online markets on the dark web. A lot of research work has also been conducted to understand the working of customers and vendors involved in the cryptomarkets that may help the law enforcement agencies. In this research, we present a ranking methodology to identify and rank top markets dealing in harmful illicit drugs. Using named entity recognition, a harm score of a drug market is calculated to indicate the degree of threat followed by the ranking of drug markets. The top-ranked markets are the ones selling the most harmful drugs. The rankings thus obtained can be helpful to law enforcement agencies by locating specific markets selling harmful illicit drugs and their further monitoring.

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Applied Computing and Informatics, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2210-8327

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Article
Publication date: 17 December 2018

Jenni Savonen, Pekka Hakkarainen, Kati Kataja, Inari Sakki and Christoffer Tigerstedt

The purpose of this paper is to study the social representations of polydrug use in the Finnish mainstream media. Social representations are shared ways of talking about…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the social representations of polydrug use in the Finnish mainstream media. Social representations are shared ways of talking about socially relevant issues and have ramifications on both individual and socio-political levels.

Design/methodology/approach

The social representations theory and the “What’s the problem represented to be?” analysis provided the theoretical framework. In total, 405 newspaper articles were used as data and analysed by content analysis and thematic analysis. The key tenets of the social representations theory, anchoring, objectifying and naturalisation, were used in data analysis.

Findings

The study found that polydrug use was written about differently in articles over the study period from 1990 to 2016. Three social representations were introduced: first, polydrug use as a concept was used to refer to the co-use of alcohol and medical drugs. This was seen as a problem for young people, which could easily lead to illicit drug use. Second, illicit drugs were included in the definitions of polydrug use, which made the social representation more serious than before. The typical polydrug user was portrayed as a person who was addicted to substances, could not quite control his/her use and was a threat to others in society. Third, the concepts were naturalised as parts of common language and even used as prototypes and metaphors.

Originality/value

The study provides a look at how the phenomenon of polydrug use is conceptualised in everyday language as previous research has concentrated on its scientific definitions. It also adds to the research of media representations of different substances.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

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Article
Publication date: 4 March 2020

Aleksi Hupli

European studies have shown lower prevalence rates of prescription stimulant use for cognitive enhancement, especially among student populations, compared to North…

Abstract

Purpose

European studies have shown lower prevalence rates of prescription stimulant use for cognitive enhancement, especially among student populations, compared to North America. This difference requires more cross-country research of the various factors involved. To find out whether other parts of the globe are witnessing similar increases in extra-medical stimulant use, and how this might relate to cognitive enhancement, requires empirical study of local contexts. This paper aims to argue that the academic and public discussion on cognitive enhancement should consider the specific country context of drug policy and research and rethink which drugs are included under the term cognitive enhancement drugs.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper offers a general review and a sociological country comparison between the Netherlands and Finland, focusing not only on prescription stimulants used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder but also illicit amphetamines among young adults and methylphenidate use among Dutch and Finnish participants of the Global Drug Survey. This paper emphasises sociocultural perspectives and the importance of context in cognitive enhancement in general as the line between therapeutic and enhancement use can often be blurred. Data is drawn from global, European and national sources, including the International Narcotics Control Board, European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction and Global Drug Survey.

Findings

There are hardly any national empirical studies done on cognitive enhancement drug use in Finland. On the other hand, there have been studies in the Netherlands showcasing that the use of prescription stimulants and other drugs for enhancement purposes is something that is happening among young people, albeit yet in a relatively small scale. Illicit and licit stimulant use and drug policy action in relation to cognitive enhancement drugs in the two countries varies, emphasising the importance of country context.

Originality/value

Given that cross-country research is scarce, this general review provides one of the first glimpses into cognitive enhancement drug use by comparing the country context and research in Finland, where the phenomenon has not been studied, with the Netherlands, where the topic has received more research and public attention. Further research areas are suggested.

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2009

C. N. E. Tompkins, N. M. J. Wright, M. G. Waterman and L. Sheard

The United Kingdom Ministry of Justice recently highlighted the extent of buprenorphine (Subutex) misuse in English andWelsh prisons, naming it the third most misused drug

Abstract

The United Kingdom Ministry of Justice recently highlighted the extent of buprenorphine (Subutex) misuse in English andWelsh prisons, naming it the third most misused drug overall. Yet little is known regarding how illicit buprenorphine is obtained in prison and what influences prisoners to use it. Qualitative research was used to explore prison drug using practices. Thirty men who were former prisoners with a history of injecting drug use were interviewed in depth about their illicit prison drug use, including buprenorphine. Interviews were conducted over 18 months, from August 2006 to January 2008 and were analysed using Framework. The misuse of Subutex by snorting emerged as a significant theme. Accounts suggested that the diversion of prison prescribed Subutex was widespread and prisoners used various tactics to obtain the medication. Various complex and interlinked reasons were given to explain why Subutex was snorted in prison. The main motivation for snorting was to experience a prolonged euphoric opiate effect, believed to help to combat the boredom of being in prison. The price of illicit Subutex in prison was linked to its availability, but it was generally cheaper than heroin, thus contributing to its use. Participants’narratives identified the belief that snorting Subutex in prison was not risk free, but risks were lower than continuing to use other drugs, particularly injecting illicit opiates. The implications of prison Subutex misuse for prisoners, prison medical services, commissioners, and prescribing policy and practice are discussed.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

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Article
Publication date: 4 March 2020

Jakob Demant, Silje Anderdal Bakken and Alexandra Hall

Internet use has changed the mechanics of drug dealing. Although this has spurred some initial academic interest in how markets and their users have been changing, the…

Abstract

Purpose

Internet use has changed the mechanics of drug dealing. Although this has spurred some initial academic interest in how markets and their users have been changing, the issue is still under-researched. The purpose of this paper is to understand how the organisation of the distribution of prescription drugs and other illegal drugs overlap in these online markets by analysing data gathered from observation of the Swedish Facebook drug market and its participants.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were gathered during three months of digital ethnography conducted among Swedish Facebook posters supplemented by 25 interviews with sellers (20) and buyers (5). Screenshots and interview data were coded by carrying out an NVivo-based content analysis. The analysis is based on descriptive statistics of drug types, co-occurrence with other drugs, group size and the demographic characteristics of sellers. Additionally, the interviewees’ descriptions of the marketplace and their drug dealing or buying activities were included in the analysis.

Findings

In total, 57 Swedish Facebook groups that sold illegal substances were located. The groups rarely specialised in specific drug types, but were convened around demographic factors, such as specific cities and locales. The sales of prescription drugs were part of the overall activity of groups selling other illegal drugs, but they were more often sold in separate Facebook posts, possibly by specialist sellers. Swedish Facebook sales primarily concerned alprazolam, tramadol, pregabalin and clonazepam, and were sold by both professional and amateur sellers.

Originality/value

This study reports findings from a Nordic comparative study on social media drug dealing, representing the first in-depth study of digitally mediated prescription drug dealing outside of cryptomarkets.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2020

Andreas Zaunseder and Angus Bancroft

Trading illicit drugs on cryptomarkets differs in many ways from material retail markets. This paper aims to contribute to existing studies on pricing by studying the…

Abstract

Purpose

Trading illicit drugs on cryptomarkets differs in many ways from material retail markets. This paper aims to contribute to existing studies on pricing by studying the relationship between price changes in relation to changes in nominal value of the cryptocurrency. To this, the authors qualitatively study product descriptions and images to expand the knowledge on price formation.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors analysed 15 samples based on visual and textual scrapes from two major drug markets – for Dream Market between January 2014 and July 2015 and for Tochka between January 2015 and July 2015. This longitudinal study relates changes in process to variations in the Bitcoin exchange rate and selling strategies. The analysis of the marketing of drugs online also addressed the development of the vendor profile and product offers.

Findings

Product prices change in relation to variations in the Bitcoin exchange rate. This points to the application of mechanisms for automatic price adaptations on the market level. Real prices of the drug offers constantly increase. The authors assert that there is a bidirectional relationship. Vendors structure price and discounts to encourage feedback. And feedback in combination with signals of commitment and authenticity inform pricing. Product descriptions are an important feature in the successful marketization of goods, whereas product images are predominantly used as an aspect of recognisability and feature of the vendor’s identity.

Research limitations/implications

Findings suggest that there is great potential for further qualitative research into the relationship between the online and offline identity of drug vendors, as well as price setting when entering the market and subsequent changes for offered products.

Practical implications

Findings also suggest that further investigation into the constitution and management of vendor’s identity on the cryptomarkets would allow a better understanding of vendors and their interactions on cryptomarkets.

Social implications

A better understanding of drug trading on cryptomarkets helps to more effectively address potentials for harm in the online drug trade. Also targetting crime would benefit from a better understanding of vendor idenities and pricing.

Originality/value

The findings represent a valuable contribution to existing knowledge on drug trading on cryptomarkets, particularly in view of pricing and vending strategies.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

Keywords

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