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Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2005

David E. Bloom, Ajay Mahal and Brendan O’Flaherty

Injecting drug use (IDU) has traditionally been seen as a law enforcement problem and a stain on society. With the emergence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired…

Abstract

Injecting drug use (IDU) has traditionally been seen as a law enforcement problem and a stain on society. With the emergence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), however, the discourse on IDU has widened to include crucial public health and human rights concerns. Economic analysis, too, has much to contribute to the policy debate. By examining the costs and benefits of drug use from the perspective of injecting drug users, economic analysis can shed light on the problem of IDU and the transmission of HIV among users. This chapter also presents new results on the economic analysis of needle exchange programmes.

Details

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

Article
Publication date: 29 November 2013

Iain McPhee, Anne Brown and Colin Martin

The purpose of this paper is to explore how injecting opiate users on a methadone treatment programme experience stigma as drug addicts, and as service users in health…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how injecting opiate users on a methadone treatment programme experience stigma as drug addicts, and as service users in health care and pharmacy settings. In particular the paper explores the rationale for injecting drugs, which the paper is argued to create the conditions for experiencing shame at the micro interactional level, influenced by macro institutional factors. The paper links this issue of being an injecting drug user in treatment to question whether the definition of recovery as “drug free” in the Scottish drug policy document The Road to Recovery (2008) creates the potential for stigma of service users receiving methadone maintenance treatment.

Design/methodology/approach

In all, 14 participants, all of whom identified themselves as problem intravenous users of drugs, were recruited from three voluntary sector (third sector) treatment agencies in Scotland. Participants took part in semi-structured interviews; these were recorded, transcribed and qualitatively analysed thematically.

Findings

Participants describe feelings of stigma in relation to their drug taking as problem users. Their experiences as recovering opiate injectors raises further challenges in distancing themselves from stigmatised addict identities.

Originality/value

Reasons for injecting rather than smoking heroin were principally financially challenging a widely held belief that users inject primarily for pleasure, which is argued as increasing the potential for stigma. Shame and perceived discrimination was documented before and during drug treatment.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 June 2013

Charlotte N.E. Tompkins

This paper aims to explore the cessation of injecting amongst male drug users when in prison in England and uncovers what influenced this behaviour and why.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the cessation of injecting amongst male drug users when in prison in England and uncovers what influenced this behaviour and why.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative interviews were conducted with 30 male drug users on release from prison to explore what happened to their injecting drug use in prison. The research was conducted from a pragmatic harm reduction approach using grounded theory.

Findings

Not injecting in prison was identified as a pertinent finding and nine overarching themes accounted for this decline. The themes often overlapped with one another, highlighting how the decision not to inject when last in prison was multi‐factorial. Running throughout the themes were participants' concerns regarding the health and social risks attributed to injecting in prison, alongside an appreciation of some of the rehabilitative measures and opportunities offered to injecting drug users when in prison.

Originality/value

This qualitative research offers an updated perspective on illicit drug injecting in prison in England from the view of drug users since health and prison policy changes in prescribing and practice. It contributes to evidence suggesting that prisons can be used as a time of reprieve and recovery from injecting drug use.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 March 2015

Nat M.J. Wright, Charlotte N. E. Tompkins and Tracey M. Farragher

The purpose of this paper is to explore prison drug injecting prevalence, identify any changes in injecting prevalence and practice during imprisonment and explore views…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore prison drug injecting prevalence, identify any changes in injecting prevalence and practice during imprisonment and explore views on prison needle exchange.

Design/methodology/approach

An empirical prospective cohort survey conducted between 2006 and 2008. The study involved a random sample of 267 remand and sentenced prisoners from a large male category B prison in England where no prison needle exchange operates. Questionnaires were administered with prisoners on reception and, where possible, at one, three and six months during their sentence.

Findings

In total, 64 per cent were injecting until admission into prison. The majority intended to stop injecting in prison (93 per cent), almost a quarter due to the lack of needle exchange (23 per cent). Yet when hypothetically asked if they would continue injecting in prison if needle exchange was freely available, a third of participants (33 per cent) believed that they would. Injecting cessation happened on prison entry and appeared to be maintained during the sentence.

Research limitations/implications

Not providing sterile needles may increase risks associated with injecting for prisoners who continue to inject. However, providing such equipment may prolong injecting for other prisoners who currently cease injecting on account of needle exchange programmes (NEPs) not being provided in the UK prison setting.

Practical implications

Not providing sterile needles may increase risks associated with injecting for prisoners who continue to inject. However, providing such equipment may prolong injecting for other prisoners who currently cease injecting on account of NEPs not being provided in the UK prison setting.

Originality/value

This survey is the first to question specifically regarding the timing of injecting cessation amongst male prisoners and explore alongside intention to inject should needle exchange facilities be provided in prison.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2007

Charlotte N. E. Tompkins, Joanne Neale, Laura Sheard and Nat M. J. Wright

Imprisonment is common among drug users. However, historically healthcare for injecting drug users in prison in England and Wales has not been equivalent to that offered…

Abstract

Imprisonment is common among drug users. However, historically healthcare for injecting drug users in prison in England and Wales has not been equivalent to that offered in community settings. Fiftyone injecting drug users who had a history of imprisonment were interviewed. Interviews focused on the experiences of drug‐related care and treatment in prison. The interviews were analysed using the Framework method. Accounts of prison drug treatment experiences provided valuable insights into drug treatment in the English prison. The participants’ accounts provided a historical perspective, many of which reflected the different practices of different prisons and prison staff and the changes in policy and practice that have occurred in prison healthcare over recent decades. Positive and negative experiences of healthcare and drug treatment in prison were discussed. Issues that affected levels of drug use inside prisons and their receipt of care, support and treatment in prison included prescribing policies, illicit drug availability and prison staff and doctor attitudes. Whilst negative experiences of prison and drug treatment prevailed, users identified that recent policy and practice changes had positively influenced healthcare provision for drug users in prison, particularly the provision of opiate maintenance therapy. Drug users often saw prison as an opportunity to detoxify and contemplate their drug use. Further work needs to build on the positive experiences identified to ensure that prison drug treatment in England and Wales is consistent, effective and efficient in the future.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2008

L. F. Moller, B. J. Van Den Bergh, S. Karymbaeva, A. Esenamanova and R. Muratalieva

In Kyrgyzstan the prevalence of injecting drug behaviour is among the highest found throughout the world. Health promotion training, improved health care and…

Abstract

In Kyrgyzstan the prevalence of injecting drug behaviour is among the highest found throughout the world. Health promotion training, improved health care and needle/syringe exchange (NSE) programmes have been shown to decrease risk behaviour among injecting drug users. In Kyrgyzstan, an intervention study with training of prison staff and prisoners was performed in one prison. Before and after the training, a random selection of the prisoners answered a questionnaire about drug use, risk behaviour and health care. The survey was carried out in both the intervention prison and in a reference prison. The number of drug users, the use of drugs and risk behaviour were improved significantly within half a year and, especially, the injection and use of drugs decreased in the intervention group. The study clearly shows that increased focus, improved healthcare and training of prisoners and staff on drug use and harm reduction can reduce both use of drugs and risk behaviour.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 July 2010

Charlie Place

Assertive outreach teams work with some individuals who experience severe problems and are also injecting drug users. These people can be at risk due to their injecting

Abstract

Assertive outreach teams work with some individuals who experience severe problems and are also injecting drug users. These people can be at risk due to their injecting behaviour, and also not be in contact with harm reduction agencies. This article describes, through case discussion, a collaborative initiative where assertive outreach case managers and harm reduction workers worked together to provide an individual harm reduction service to this vulnerable group. The project successfully engaged service users and was able to deliver harm reduction support.

Details

Advances in Dual Diagnosis, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-0972

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2008

Grazia Zuffa

Following the example of many northern European countries, harm reduction strategies were introduced in Italy at the beginning of the 90s in response to the spread of…

Abstract

Following the example of many northern European countries, harm reduction strategies were introduced in Italy at the beginning of the 90s in response to the spread of HIV/Aids. The peculiarities of Italian culture and tradition led to the adoption of a ‘Latin’ model, while in northern countries the culture of pragmatism and evidence‐based practices, together with a long tradition of public health policy were determinant in promoting harm reduction. In Italy, the ‘social perspective’ on the drug problem adopted by a large part of professionals working in public services and by most non‐governmental organisations (NGOs), has prompted a synergy between ‘cure’ and ‘care’ (ie. treatment and harm reduction), leading to the ‘integration’ of harm reduction and the traditional drug‐free work on addiction. As a result, since the mid 90s, public services and therapeutic communities have been cooperating to build a complex system of low to high threshold facilities. Until the 90s, most NGOs only ran drug‐free programmes in therapeutic communities, but from then onwards many began running harm reduction programmes as well, especially street units and needle exchange programmes, secondary prevention units at rave parties, drop‐in centres, and low‐threshold detoxification centres. Similarly, there has been an increase in methadone maintenance in public services, after the ‘retention in treatment’ of clients was established as the primary objective in the effort to protect users from drug related death and HIV infection. Though harm reduction interventions are far from being fully implemented, data shows that in the past 15 years the harm reduction/treatment system has reduced health risks for drug users and has been instrumental in referring a remarkable number of injecting drug users into treatment programmes. In the mean time, drugs of choice, patterns of use and ways of drug consumption have substantially changed. Now the question is, will the Italian approach be able to address these new challenges?

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

Keywords

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

Liviu Gabriel Alexandrescu

The purpose of this paper is to investigate a group of Romanian injecting substance users “migrating” from heroin to novel psychoactive substances (NPS) as a counterpublic…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate a group of Romanian injecting substance users “migrating” from heroin to novel psychoactive substances (NPS) as a counterpublic seeking to escape the stigma of drug abjection.

Design/methodology/approach

The findings are drawn from interview and observational data collected mainly at drug services sites in Bucharest, Romania.

Findings

The stimulant powders sold by head shops appealed to experienced drug users because they seemed to emulate a consumerist ethos and cultivate a healthy, rational agent that popular discourses of addiction deem incompatible with drug careers. NPS and head shops were thus initially understood as a possibility of escaping “junk identities”. However, they ultimately sealed injectors as abject bodies that obstructed the collaborative goals of rehabilitation and health restoration. A sense of symbolic distance shaped by notions of moral and bodily hygiene separated heroin and NPS users, as the latter increasingly came to be seen and see themselves as flawed consumers of health and freedom.

Practical implications

NPS retail spaces could present valuable opportunities to insert harm-reduction resources and harness counterpublic health strategies.

Social implications

Dominant definitions of substance use as unavoidable paths into self-destruction push users towards unknown compounds they can attach more fluid meanings to. This suggests that prohibitionist language still obscures rational dialogue about existing and emerging drugs.

Originality/value

The paper traces ATS/NPS in an Eastern European context offering an alternative vantage point to harm-focused perspectives.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

Keywords

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