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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2018

Marcus Day

The purpose of this paper is to present evidence of the therapeutic value of cannabis as a harm reduction intervention with people who smoke crack cocaine.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present evidence of the therapeutic value of cannabis as a harm reduction intervention with people who smoke crack cocaine.

Design/methodology/approach

A desk study of published peer-reviewed material supporting the use of cannabis as therapeutic in mitigating some of the harms associated with crack cocaine smoking.

Findings

The use of cannabis as a harm reduction strategy for crack cocaine use has been commented on in the scientific literature since the 1980s. The officially scheduling of cannabis as having no medicinal value hampered further study despite the reporting of positive findings and numerous calls for more research.

Practical implications

There are currently no approved pharmaceutical substitutions for crack cocaine. Cannabis has shown itself effective in mitigating harms for 30–40 per cent of people. Cannabis is inexpensive and readily available and should be allowed for those people who want to use it.

Originality/value

Poly drug use is often framed in a negative context. In this paper, the author shows that with cannabis and crack, the poly drug use is actually a valid harm reduction strategy.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 25 May 2017

Jeanette Covington

In this chapter, I examine how racial disparities in punishment for nonviolent drug crimes align with significant differences in how the black and white drug problems are…

Abstract

Purpose

In this chapter, I examine how racial disparities in punishment for nonviolent drug crimes align with significant differences in how the black and white drug problems are constructed in media, law enforcement, and academia.

Methodology/approach

By examining differences in how the black and white drug problems have been constructed over the past 70 years for the opioids (heroin, prescription painkillers), cocaine (both powder and crack), and marijuana, I illustrate how these distinct representations of the black and white drug problems accompany more punitive policies in response to black drug epidemics even as white drug epidemics are typically met with tolerance or indifference.

Findings

Historically, powerful interest groups like media and law enforcement have benefitted from circulating myths and exaggerations about the illegal drug problem that encourage punitive drug policies. By contrast, at least some academics have benefitted from taking the opposite tack and debunking many of these myths. Unfortunately, academics have been less willing to challenge myths about the black drug problem than the white drug problem. Indeed, some academics actually reinforce many of the myths about the black drug problem promoted by media and law enforcement.

Originality/value

This chapter builds upon a substantial academic literature that challenges myths about illegal drug use by whites. However, it goes beyond this literature to consider the paucity of similar academic research exposing media and law enforcement myths about the black drug problem.

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Article
Publication date: 4 March 2019

Aysel Sultan and Bernd Werse

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…

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the discussion on the motives and functions of prescription drug use in an urban open drug scene.

Details

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

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 27 December 1999

Richard C. Stephens, Carol F. Kwiatkowski and Robert E. Booth

This chapter explores the impact of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) funded by Cooperative Agreement AIDS education and prevention program on crack users and…

Abstract

This chapter explores the impact of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) funded by Cooperative Agreement AIDS education and prevention program on crack users and drug injectors. Data on the 5,789 participants were drawn from eight cities throughout the United States. Subjects were classified into three user groups: injectors only, crack smokers only, and crack-smoking injectors. They were interviewed at baseline and six months later at follow-up about their HIV risk behaviors which included needle-related behaviors, drug use patterns, and sexual behaviors. At baseline, subjects were assigned either to a two-session NIDA developed standard intervention or to a more elaborate and prolonged enhanced intervention which was independently developed in each of the sites. Analyses were conducted for the cities individually. Three major findings emerged from the analyses: (1) there is a relative lack of post intervention differences between the standard and enhanced interventions; (2) statistically significant and substantively meaningful changes occurred between pretest and posttest; and (3) despite meaningful reductions in risk behaviors among some users, a large percentage of these drug users continue to engage in all types of risky behaviors. Implications of these findings are discussed in the chapter.

Details

Emergent Issues in the Field of Drug Abuse
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-033-3

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2000

John C. Cross and Bruce D. Johnson

Attempts to theorize the relationship between the informal and the illegal sectors of the economy. States that there are significant behavioural similarities. Proposes an…

Abstract

Attempts to theorize the relationship between the informal and the illegal sectors of the economy. States that there are significant behavioural similarities. Proposes an emergent paradigm based on dual labour market theory to explain the similarites and differences in order to guide future research in each area. Applies the theory to the production and marketing of crack cocaine and shows how the model helps us to understand issues of exploitation and risk makagement within the drug market.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 20 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 8 April 2010

Susan Boyd

Purpose – This chapter analyses the independent U.S. film Reefer Madness, a fictional full-length feature about marijuana use and selling that has grown in cult status…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter analyses the independent U.S. film Reefer Madness, a fictional full-length feature about marijuana use and selling that has grown in cult status since it was produced in 1936. In addition, this chapter discusses a number of examples of early and contemporary illegal drug films that focus on marijuana, including a short film scene from Broken Flowers (2005).

Methodology – Drawing from critical and feminist criminology, sociology, and cultural studies, this chapter provides an analysis of fictional illegal drug films with a focus on marijuana.

Findings – The significance of a century of film representations that reinforce a link between illegal drug use, immorality, and crime is discussed. It appears that these themes are quite enduring.

Value – It is worthwhile to analyze illegal drug films, not just to explore the stigmatization of users, but to examine the social/political effects of these films, particularly the ways that certain kinds of negative images support drug regulation and its attendant policing.

Details

Popular Culture, Crime and Social Control
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-733-2

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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2015

Fabrizio Schifano

The purpose of this paper is to provide health professionals with novel psychoactive substances (NPS) clients with up to date information relating to the background…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide health professionals with novel psychoactive substances (NPS) clients with up to date information relating to the background, clinical pharmacology and, when possible, clinical management for each of these categories.

Design/methodology/approach

The world of NPS is complex and diverse, including a range of different molecules such as: psychedelic phenethylamines; synthetic cannabinoids, cathinone derivatives; novel stimulants; synthetic opiates/opioids; tryptamine derivatives; phencyclidine-like dissociatives; piperazines; GABA-A/GABA-B receptor agonists; a range of prescribing medications; psychactive plants/herbs; and a large series of performance and image-enhancing drugs. These molecules are sought by users for their psychactive effects.

Findings

The NPS categorization and classification provided here is an attempt to identify and better understand some of these substances. Given the vast range of medical and psychopathological issues associated with the NPS described it is crucial for health professionals to be aware of the effects and toxicity of NPS. The EU-MADNESS project aims to both better understand the pharmacology of the available/forthcoming NPS and to disseminate the most current NPS-related information to practising and training health professionals.

Research limitations/implications

Further studies are required to identify a range of evidence-based, NPS-focused, clinical management and treatment strategies.

Social implications

The rapid pace of change in the NPS online market constitutes a major challenge to the provision of current and reliable scientific knowledge on these substances.

Originality/value

The present review will provide an overview of the clinical and pharmacological issues related to a few hundred NPS.

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Article
Publication date: 21 May 2010

Christine Goodair

Abstract

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

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Book part
Publication date: 15 October 2018

Frank Zobel and Larissa J. Maier

The Swiss drug policy once was very progressive in the 1990s when the harm related to drug use was most visible to the public. Failure of repression opened the room for…

Abstract

The Swiss drug policy once was very progressive in the 1990s when the harm related to drug use was most visible to the public. Failure of repression opened the room for more innovative harm reduction approaches. In 2008, the four-pillar model including the legal basis for substitution and heroin-assisted treatment of opioid use disorders as well as for other harm reduction facilities was approved by the population that had learned about the success of these measures. Less violence, better health outcomes among people who use drugs and less stigma supported the change of attitudes in the population towards a public health-based approach when dealing with drug use. Switzerland first received heavy criticism for the autonomous policy change at the international level while it is nowadays often cited as best practice example for dealing with people with an opioid use disorder. Otherwise, the country has usually been quiet in drug policy discussions at the UN level. Nevertheless, Switzerland’s reappointment to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the central drug policy-making body within the United Nations for a period of four years starting in 2018 is promising, given their unblemished recommendation for human rights-based drug policies including the abolition of the death penalty for drug offences, among other things. Alongside cannabis policy changes at the international level, Switzerland witnessed an unexpected development in cannabis availability and sales. However, the country is still rather conservative with regard to current cannabis policies, although cannabis with less than 1% of THC can be sold legally and the possession of up to 10 g will be followed by a fine only, if at all. Switzerland is open to experiment with new regulations but only if the law allows for that. To conclude, the strong sense of connectedness with the international community may support Switzerland’s next steps towards public health and evidence-based harm reduction.

Details

Collapse of the Global Order on Drugs: From UNGASS 2016 to Review 2019
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-488-6

Keywords

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