Critical drug studies have developed a significant body of work that illuminates understanding of gender and drug use as well as drug pleasures. However, framing the study…
Critical drug studies have developed a significant body of work that illuminates understanding of gender and drug use as well as drug pleasures. However, framing the study of women and their drug pleasures through critical drug studies presents potential limitations. The posthuman turn de-emphasises the primary goal of drug use: a particular subjective experience. Both the language and theoretical frameworks of new materialism potentially distance researchers, as interlocutors, from engaging the human experience of drug pleasures, rendering drug use abstract and unknowable.
In a historical context in which women’s intoxication has invoked shaming and criminalisation, control of their bodies, and silencing of dissent, scholarly activism by and inclusion of women who use drugs should be foundational to critical drug studies. Autoethnography offers a modality by which personal narrative becomes a convention of academic writing. It also presents a way of performing the self critically and authentically within conceptual frameworks that explore the complex, intersectional politics of women’s drug use, ways that are representationally missing in the scholarship. An ethics of care as part of one’s practice of the self proposes a radically different way of framing drug use. The recognition and normalisation of drug pleasures as the complicated, emergent, expressions of ethical self-care that they are for women (and all people who use drugs) promises fertile ground for future scholarly exploration. Research based in the lived experience of women who use drugs will help establish languages that resituate drug use in the phenomenology of their experience.
The Russian Federation has taken a harsh, punitive approach towards drug policy. There are limited health and social services available to people who use drugs and…
The Russian Federation has taken a harsh, punitive approach towards drug policy. There are limited health and social services available to people who use drugs and widespread, documented discrimination within the criminal justice system. Amongst those who use drugs, the proportion of women who use injection drugs is estimated to be approximately 30 per cent. While a minority, women who use drugs are often disproportionately impacted by drug policy enforcement and remain underrepresented within research. Moreover, women who use drugs experience specific gender-based forms of discrimination within social, health and criminal justice systems, which result in particular vulnerabilities. This chapter examines policing and sentencing practices within the Russian criminal justice system and their gendered impacts, especially concerning women who use drugs. Human rights reports and court cases as well as interviews from civil society organisation (CSO) workers are analysed in order to understand how gender roles, gender-based discrimination and gender-based violence shape these interactions and result in disproportionate negative impacts on the lives of women who use drugs. This analysis also highlights key areas that need greater involvement and attention from researchers, policymakers and advocates.
The prevalence of older people who use drugs is increasing in many countries, with evidence that some women continue or begin illicit substance use in midlife and older age. While research on older people who use drugs is limited, evidence of risk behaviours among older women who use drugs is particularly inadequate. Unsafe drug use and sexual practices that are prolonged and sustained over many years increase the possibilities for poorer health, leading to potentially greater morbidity and early mortality among older drug users. This chapter is a timely contribution to the extant literature and explores our current knowledge of the risk behaviours of older women who use drugs.
Although midlife is viewed as a transition period in the life course, the normative role expectations of midlife and older women run parallel to the stereotypes of women who use drugs. Furthermore, drug-using bodies are politically and culturally shaped through control and containment practices centred around notions of difference and risk. Acknowledging the intersection of age, race and gender, this chapter frames its position around the concepts of ‘risk’ and ‘edgework’. Utilising these theoretical concepts, this chapter argues that a shift towards a support-focussed model, rather than control of, older women who use drugs is required. The absence of a focussed, gendered analysis of the lives and experiences of older drug users, and older women who use drugs in particular, limits our understanding. Consequently, the chapter concludes with a call for well-designed studies of this increasing and largely hidden cohort of drug users.
Prisoners have a high level of drug use prior to imprisonment. Many inmates report having injected drugs and using cannabis. Prison authorities employed a range of…
Prisoners have a high level of drug use prior to imprisonment. Many inmates report having injected drugs and using cannabis. Prison authorities employed a range of strategies to detect drugs and drug use in prison. However, it was unclear which supply reduction strategies operated, and the prevalence and types of drugs detected in Australian prisons. The purpose of this paper is to examine supply reduction strategies in Australian prisons. Information on searches for drugs, and from inmate urinalysis was collected. The study focussed on adults in fulltime custody in Australia in 2009.
A representative of all corrective services departments and justice health services was asked to complete a questionnaire on supply reduction strategies, including searches for drugs and drug testing of inmates.
The two main supply reduction strategies identified in all Australian prisons were the use of drug detection dogs and urinalysis programs. Despite an extensive use of drug searches and urinalysis, the detection of drugs was modest for both strategies. The most commonly used drug was cannabis with the detection of drugs such as amphetamines and heroin being very low.
Prison inmates have a history of high levels of drug use prior to imprisonment. However, the supply reduction measures of drug detection dogs and urinalysis indicate that drug use was low in Australian prisons.
The paper recommends that urinalysis comprises targeting testing regimes and that random testing ceases in order to be a more cost effective use of resources for drug detection.
The study is the first report on the range of supply reduction measures in Australian prisons and, possibly in the world. Both measures were employed extensively across the country and finds of drugs and drug use were relatively low. Two possible conclusions can be drawn; that either drug use was very low in prison or that it was well concealed from the authorities. A comparison of random testing with targeted testing of inmates, where the former yields fewer positive results shows drug use was likely to be low rather than well concealed.
The purpose of this paper is to determine whether trends in arrests for heroin, amphetamine‐type substances (ATS) and cocaine can be used as indicators of trends in the use…
The purpose of this paper is to determine whether trends in arrests for heroin, amphetamine‐type substances (ATS) and cocaine can be used as indicators of trends in the use of these drugs.
The question was addressed using ARIMA models to analyse the relationship between arrests and emergency department (ED) admissions for narcotics, amphetamine type substances (ATS) and cocaine.
Strong positive correlations were found for the narcotics and cocaine series between arrests and EDs in the same month (contemporaneous correlation) and between arrests in the current month and overdoses in earlier months (lagged correlation). The contemporaneous correlation between ATS arrests and EDs was slightly less strong than the lagged correlations at two and four months. A jump in ATS EDs, was followed by a jump in arrests in the same month and then two and four months later.
Arrests for narcotics use/possession, ATS use/possession and cocaine use/possession may in some circumstances provide useful intelligence about drug trends and/or a basis for evaluating the impact of police drug law enforcement activity on the use of narcotics, ATS and cocaine when other stronger measures of drug use are not available.
Efforts to evaluate local drug law enforcement activity on illicit drug use have been hampered by poor measures of trends in illicit drug use at small area levels. This is the only study the authors are aware of that has examined the long‐term relationship between illicit drug arrests and emergency department admissions for illicit drug use.
In Kyrgyzstan the prevalence of injecting drug behaviour is among the highest found throughout the world. Health promotion training, improved health care and…
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.
This study examined an individual's drug use in relation to their coping styles, personality traits and attachment style. A total of 98 participants (46 females and 52…
This study examined an individual's drug use in relation to their coping styles, personality traits and attachment style. A total of 98 participants (46 females and 52 males) took part in the study. Analysis did not show a significant difference in insecure/ambivalent attachment in the drug‐using group. Yet, there was evidence to suggest that the drug‐using group exhibited higher levels of personality disorder traits, based only on self‐report. Individuals with more personality disorder traits had a more insecure attachment style. Participants who use drugs had a more avoidant coping style. The results are discussed with reference to previous research and the implications of the current research on attachment theory and personality disorder etiology, as well as implications for drug treatment.
Presents information on the Drug abuse resistance education (DARE) program, a set of 17 lessons on drug resistance given by police officers to sixth grade children…
Presents information on the Drug abuse resistance education (DARE) program, a set of 17 lessons on drug resistance given by police officers to sixth grade children. Measures attitudes toward drug use and degree of reported use. Indicates that DARE is successful in providing information but that the levels of reported behavior do not show significant improvement in self‐reported drug use compared to two control groups. Urges caution in expanding the program, since positive results are limited at present.
This study explored the perspectives of low‐level drug market users on the availability, purchase and consumption of illicit drugs within the social context of drug…
This study explored the perspectives of low‐level drug market users on the availability, purchase and consumption of illicit drugs within the social context of drug prohibition. A snowballing technique was used to recruit 16 participants consisting of nine males and seven females aged between 17 and 43. A semi‐structured interview process elicited their views on their use of drugs, where they obtained them, their views on the impact of the criminal justice system on their drug use and finally their views on how drug users were perceived by non‐drug users. While some negative consequences of using drugs were reported, no participant considered that their use of drugs made them an addict, a criminal or antisocial. The findings from this study suggest that current punitive drug policy, which links drug use with addiction, crime and antisocial behaviour was inconsistent with the experience of the participants.