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1 – 10 of over 13000
Article
Publication date: 25 November 2014

Grazia Zuffa, Patrizia Meringolo and Fausto Petrini

The prevalence of cocaine use has been increasing since the mid-1990s in many European countries, Italy included. There is a large variety of patterns of cocaine use in…

Abstract

Purpose

The prevalence of cocaine use has been increasing since the mid-1990s in many European countries, Italy included. There is a large variety of patterns of cocaine use in natural settings, but on the whole, the existence of different patterns of cocaine use remains widely unknown to drug professionals, as well as to public opinion. The purpose of this paper is to investigate patterns and trajectories of use, the meaning of use within the context of users’ life styles, the perception of controlled/uncontrolled use, personal strategies to keep drug use “under control”.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper illustrates findings from a qualitative study among 115 cocaine users. Participants were recruited using the snow ball sampling (a minimum lifetime experience of 20 instances of cocaine use was required).

Findings

The findings confirm the variability of cocaine use trajectories and the prevalent tendency towards more moderate patterns of use. Such variability is in patent contrast to the disease model of addiction and its assumed predetermined linear trajectories. Set, and particularly setting and all the environmental factors, such as life events, appear to be the variables that can better explain the dynamic course of patterns of use.

Research limitations/implications

The main limit concerns the non-randomisation in the selection of the nominees. Participants were recruited in the night entertainment scene of the main Tuscan cities through personal contacts of staff from risk reduction facilities: in spite of the personal and confidential approach, the number of “non institutionalized” users willing to collaborate was too low, therefore the authors decided to omit the randomisation.

Social implications

The findings bear social implications as they can contribute to a change in the social representation of users so as to reduce the stigma. They can also prompt innovation in the operational models of drug services.

Originality/value

It is the first qualitative research from the “control” perspective ever led in Italy.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 April 2022

Ana Lucia Castello, Hugo Rafael Silva, Kelsy Areco, Paulo Paiva and Dartiu Da Silveira

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between parenting styles, family psychological vulnerability environment (FPVE) and drug use among adolescents.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between parenting styles, family psychological vulnerability environment (FPVE) and drug use among adolescents.

Design/methodology/approach

The quantitative survey using paper and pencil was administered to collect data from 284 parents registered with a paediatric clinic in the city of São Paulo (Brazil), most of whom claimed that their children used drugs. FPVE was measured by eight scales: family relationship patterns and drug use habits; hereditary predisposition to drug use; transmission of moral values to children (reverse); parents’ hereditary predisposition; parental drug use; depression; impulsiveness; and anxiety.

Findings

Dimensions of FPVE that had effect on drug use by adolescents were: the family relationship and drug use patterns of the family of procreation, drug use by the parents and heredity in relation to drug use. Conversely, the family relationship and drug use patterns of the family of origin and the parents’ anxiety, symptoms of depression and impulsiveness did not affect their children’s drug use.

Research limitations/implications

One limit of this study is the sample of parents. These parents were parents of adolescents that were at psychological treatment. The authors do not know if part of parents who declared that their children are not drug users, because the treatment effect. Another limit is that this study did not compare the effect of parents’ drugs misuse with parents that do not use drugs on adolescent drug use. One other limit is that the parents were treated regardless of whether they were mothers or fathers.

Originality/value

This study expands the study of the antecedents of drug use by adolescents, considering FPVE as a construct. Regarding this construct when facing resources limitation, the practitioners can prioritize strategies to prevent adolescent drug use.

Details

Drugs, Habits and Social Policy, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2752-6739

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 February 2014

Alistair David Sweet

The purpose of this paper is to suggest that the emergence of substituted cathinones or M-cat drugs (notably mephedrone and methylone) and their rapid proliferation of use

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to suggest that the emergence of substituted cathinones or M-cat drugs (notably mephedrone and methylone) and their rapid proliferation of use, amongst drug users in the UK from 2009 onwards, signals changes in the habits, preferences and lifestyle choices made by certain drug users, whilst also indicating a pronounced increase in the levels of co-morbid mental health conditions experienced by another, yet often distinct, group of users.

Design/methodology/approach

This latter group of users, it is suggested, tend to initiate use of psychoactive substances (including tobacco and alcohol) at a younger age. In addition, it is suggested, they often present to treatment and criminal justice services with a history of chronic childhood relational trauma, as a background against which severe patterns of drug abuse has evolved. In this light the lack of significant supplies of social capital, as a protective factor against the development of chronic drug use, is further considered in the paper that follows though a brief literature review and qualitative clinical case reports.

Findings

Novel psychoactive substances ( Newcombe, 2013) appear so seductive, for a certain group of users, because they seem to provide a temporary form of cognitive and emotional anaesthesia, enabling users to self-medicate, often against experiences of profound psychological trauma and contemporary lives that are typically experienced as boring, hopeless and pointless. The euphoric effects of psycho-stimulants such as mephedrone are particularly appealing to individuals attempting to escape a subjective sense of daily dysphoria and may on this basis lead to, rather than recreational use, more persistent patterns of drug use. However, in contradistinction to this group of users, another recreational – mainly weekend leisure – group of users continues to evidence a voracious appetite for psycho-stimulant substances.

Originality/value

It is suggested that this second group of users has been particularly influential in substitute displacement towards the emergence of legal highs, due to the poor quality and illegal status of street drugs such as cocaine, amphetamine sulphate and MDMA (ecstasy).

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 May 2009

Marie Van Hout

The challenge for drug and health promotion services is to keep up‐to‐date with the dynamics of drug use patterns and trends both nationally and within certain groups…

Abstract

The challenge for drug and health promotion services is to keep up‐to‐date with the dynamics of drug use patterns and trends both nationally and within certain groups (Kilpatrick, 2000). The traveller community present with lower but similar levels and patterns of drug use than the general population, but are particularly vulnerable to early onset of drug use and problematic substance use relating to their life circumstances. Drug use in the traveller community is facilitated and mediated by a combination of risk and resilience factors, which include lack of education, unemployment, comprised health and poor housing conditions.The research aimed to provide an explorative account of the issue of drug use in the traveller community and consisted of focus groups (N=12) of travellers (N=57) with a gender balance (47/53%) based on self‐selection and volunteerism. The focus groups (4‐5 individuals) were predominantly peer‐accompanied where a traveller guided the facilitation of the traveller focus groups and were also gender based. The focus groups incorporated the following key themes relating to the travellers and drug use; traveller culture and drug use, drug availability and dealing, gender differences in drug use, types of drugs used, reasons for drug use, levels of drug related knowledge, attitude to drug use, drug taking contexts and patterns, problematic drug use in the traveller community, drug awareness, perceptions of risk and experiences of drug treatment and community services.The travellers indicated increased drug availability in recent years. Some members of their community were dealing in and using drugs, as a result of unemployment, lack of education, depression, and increasing contact with the settled community. This has lead to a fragmentation of traveller culture. Traveller men are at heightened risk of substance dependency in terms of increased contact with drugs such as cocaine, speed, hash and ecstasy. In contrast, traveller women reported prescription medication abuse. The travellers described a fear of problematic drug use within their communities coupled with concern in terms of discriminatory experiences with health and drug services, lack of awareness of current service provision and the lack of culturally appropriate drug education material and addiction counseling.

Details

Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-0980

Keywords

Open Access
Book part
Publication date: 19 November 2020

Iga Kender-Jeziorska

Recreational drug use is widespread. It is argued that it has reached a phase of ‘normalisation’ among youth and has become a part of mainstream culture. While there is a…

Abstract

Recreational drug use is widespread. It is argued that it has reached a phase of ‘normalisation’ among youth and has become a part of mainstream culture. While there is a substantive body of literature addressing substance use in club settings, the world of music festivals is underexplored. The research aims to fill this gap by analysing patterns of drug use and implementation of harm reduction measures among Polish and Hungarian women at music festivals. This explorative inquiry used an online questionnaire, which was shared via social media channels. The data collection lasted for one month during the summer of 2017.

The study found that over 95% (N=510) of women use psychoactive substances at festivals. The most popular drugs are alcohol and cannabis, and the least popular cocaine and psilocybin. The majority of women declare moderate use of alcohol and light to moderate use of cannabis. One-fifth of the respondents report a moderately heavy use of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine and 8% heavy use of amphetamine. There are numerous positive weak relationships between the intensity of use of various substances. Increased use of drugs is also related to increased frequency of combining them. Low prevalence of illicit drugs testing is observed. There seems to be a negative correlation between the intensity of substance use and the adoption of harm reduction measures. The results have high practical relevance primarily for harm reduction and medical services. Especially cases of moderately heavy and heavy use should be of interest, even more so given that combining substances seems to be prevalent. The data suggest that we can distinguish between two groups: one aware and implementing various measures of harm reduction and second not adopting any of them. There is a need for more widespread drug education and harm reduction promotion, which should be implemented in a favourable legal and policy environment.

Details

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

Article
Publication date: 30 October 2020

Julian Strizek, Alexandra Karden and João Matias

The purpose of this paper is to assess the relevance of cryptomarkets, characteristics of purchasers and possibilities for survey research by approaching users directly on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the relevance of cryptomarkets, characteristics of purchasers and possibilities for survey research by approaching users directly on cryptomarkets.

Design/methodology/approach

Cross-country comparison of the results from the European Web Survey on Drugs (EWSD) and summarizing lessons learned during the data collection was carried out.

Findings

Purchasers of drugs on cryptomarkets are still a rather small segment of all drug purchasers, and most people who use cryptomarkets also use other sources of supply to buy drugs. The percentage of people using cryptomarkets is unevenly distributed across countries and substances. Purchasers on cryptomarkets in most countries are more likely to be men and more likely, on average, to use more substances. Other characteristics such as age or place of residence do not show a consistent pattern across countries. Recruitment of respondents on cryptomarkets calls for specific techniques and procedures. Specific attention should be paid to build trust and guarantee credibility and anonymity.

Research limitations/implications

Interpretation of the quantitative results is limited by nonprobabilistic sampling and different recruitment strategies in different countries.

Practical implications

Users of cryptomarkets show some specific characteristics, providing a challenge for research and prevention agencies to keep up with digital technology. Increasing knowledge about characteristics of users of cryptomarkets may help to create adequate responses for harm reduction measures in different supply settings. However, collecting self-reported data from users on cryptomarkets is limited owing to significant privacy concerns and requires specific skills and strategies.

Originality/value

The EWSD provides a rare opportunity for detailed analyses of consumption patterns and characteristics of active drug users across several European countries. Furthermore, experiences of a new recruitment strategy are discussed.

Article
Publication date: 25 February 2014

Petros Triantos, Gerasimos Papanastasatos, Charalampos Poulopoulos and Yiannis Zaxaropoulos

This paper aims to research the prevalence of a new drug which appeared at the era of economic crisis in Greece, called “shisha.” Shisha, a rather cheap form of crystal…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to research the prevalence of a new drug which appeared at the era of economic crisis in Greece, called “shisha.” Shisha, a rather cheap form of crystal meth, has spread fast among drug users in Greece with the deepening of the economic crisis. The present paper is concerned with the socio-demographic characteristics of drug users who choose this type of drug and reveals the conditions under which this drug is used. In addition, perceptions of drug users about the specific drug are also explored.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 148 drug users took part in this study. Of these 73 percent were men and 27 percent women. The average age of participants was approximately 37 years. All participants in the study were interviewed face-to-face on the basis of a structured brief questionnaire with closed and open-ended questions.

Findings

The data suggests that the majority of drug users who use “shisha” are mainly heroin users (63.2 percent) and they use this new drug as a second choice to heroin. Shisha can be found in the center of Athens and it is usually smoked through a glass pipe. The cost for buying the drug is relatively low (two to three euros) and the drug is produced in small illegal labs. Most participants argued that shisha is linked to violent and aggressive behavior, loss of weight, insomnia, sexual arousal and a psychotic state that may cause death. The drug is made out of a form of crystal meth produced by amphetamines and liquid acids found in batteries liquids.

Practical implications

This drug is mainly used by homeless drug users in the center of Athens. Its exact synthesis cannot be identified given the fact that drug users use various recipes to produce it. Taking the drug is extremely dangerous for the health of the users.

Originality/value

Research of the use of a new drug linked to the economic crisis in Greece. Researchers in this paper approached street drug users who are highly unlikely to seek help from health or other types of treatment providers.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2005

Hans O. Melberg

This chapter argues that models trying to explain the spread of drug use should not be based on standard epidemiological models developed to describe the spread of

Abstract

This chapter argues that models trying to explain the spread of drug use should not be based on standard epidemiological models developed to describe the spread of infectious diseases. The main weaknesses of the standard model are the lack of attention to micro-foundations and the inappropriateness of several of its assumptions in the context of drug use. An approach based on mechanisms and social interaction is argued to provide a promising alternative to the standard approach. To illustrate this, a model of the spread of drugs based on two mechanisms has been developed (observational learning and social stigma). Lastly, some of the difficulties in testing and deriving policy implications in these models are discussed.

Details

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

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2005

Woon Lim

There has been increasing concern about inappropriate or excessive medication of people with learning disabilities. Audits of prescribing practice may guide clinicians…

Abstract

There has been increasing concern about inappropriate or excessive medication of people with learning disabilities. Audits of prescribing practice may guide clinicians towards a more rational use of psychotropic drugs. Most previous studies have come from North America or Europe. This paper reports on a survey of prescribing patterns in an institution that cares for adults with severe to profound learning disabilities in Hong Kong. The survey found that 27% of the 294 hospital patients were receiving psychotropic drugs, but this rate was significantly higher (90%) in the ward for people with challenging behaviours. Most patients (67%) received a single psychotropic drug, 26% received two and 7%, three. Around half the patients (151) had epilepsy, of whom 90% received anticonvulsants. Of these, 52% received a single anticonvulsant, 37% received two and 11% received three or more. Dosages were generally within the recommended ranges. This survey revealed several good aspects of prescribing practice at Siu Lam Hospital, but also areas that need improvement. The latter include a drug‐reduction programme for the people with challenging behaviours, trials of drug‐free periods for seizure‐free patients receiving anticonvulsants and replacement of phenytoin and phenobarbitone with safer alternatives.

Details

Tizard Learning Disability Review, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-5474

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2002

Madeline Naegle

With expanded technologic and communication resources there is growing awareness worldwide of the public health problems caused by alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use

174

Abstract

With expanded technologic and communication resources there is growing awareness worldwide of the public health problems caused by alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, misuse, abuse and addiction. Trends vary by culture and region but use of tobacco and alcohol is almost universal and is associated with high rates of mortality and morbidity. While nurses have not universally embraced the prevention and treatment of substance‐related disorders as their province, this is changing as a function of organisations, World Health Organization (WHO) and national initiatives, and the strengthening of nurse education. Actions to promote consensus, identify and review competencies for nurses must consider national and cultural variations, traditions of social change and the need for evidence‐based practice. Collective action by nurses in newly formed and existing organisations, which focus on addictions prevention and treatment, have resulted in initial professional steps. Such progress can be facilitated if achieved in the context of larger international policies and initiatives and in collaboration with members of other professional disciplines.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

Keywords

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