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Drugs and Alcohol Today
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.245
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 151  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1745-9265 - ISSN (Online) 2042-8359
Published by Emerald Homepage  [357 journals]
  • Editorial
    • Pages: 57 - 58
      Abstract: Drugs and Alcohol Today, Volume 19, Issue 2, Page 57-58, June 2019.

      Citation: Drugs and Alcohol Today
      PubDate: 2019-04-05T08:13:27Z
      DOI: 10.1108/DAT-06-2019-069
  • Silent deaths: a commentary on new mortality data relating to volatile
           substance abuse in Great Britain
    • Pages: 86 - 96
      Abstract: Drugs and Alcohol Today, Volume 19, Issue 2, Page 86-96, June 2019.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to provide a commentary on new information from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on deaths caused by volatile substance abuse (VSA) in Great Britain which occurred between 2001 and 2016. Design/methodology/approach Comparing the new study with previous mortality data, the authors consider the strengths and some limitations of the analysis provided by ONS. Findings By utilising a broader range of codes and collating additional information from death certificates, the new report provides a more comprehensive measure of VSA mortality than was previously available, showing increasing prevalence of deaths. The age profile of people dying is older than in previous studies. Most deaths were associated with inhalation of gases and almost three-quarters of deaths involved volatile substances alone. Practical implications Understanding VSA mortality is essential for service planning. It is important that we identify why so many people whose deaths are associated with VSA are not accessing treatment, with particular concern about treatment access for those who only use volatiles. Training to support drug and alcohol and other health service staff to respond to VSA is essential. In future reports, data to identify socioeconomic correlations of VSA deaths would enable targeted responses. Additionally, information on whether deaths occur in long term rather than episodic or one-off users could enable risk reduction education. Originality/value This paper shows how data on VSA deaths may inform for policy and service planning.
      Citation: Drugs and Alcohol Today
      PubDate: 2019-01-07T03:28:47Z
      DOI: 10.1108/DAT-08-2018-0039
  • Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: the strange case of the two selves of clandestine
           drug users in Scotland
    • Pages: 133 - 146
      Abstract: Drugs and Alcohol Today, Volume 19, Issue 2, Page 133-146, June 2019.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore the hidden social worlds of competent clandestine users of drugs controlled within the confines of the UK Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, which now includes NPS substances. The authors explore how and in what way socially competent drug users differ from others who are visible to the authorities as criminals by criminal justice bureaucracies and known to treatment agencies as defined problem drug users. Design/methodology/approach This qualitative research utilises a bricoleur ethnographic methodology considered as a critical, multi-perspectival, multi-theoretical and multi-methodological approach to inquiry. Findings This paper challenges addiction discourses and, drawing upon empirical evidence, argues the user of controlled drugs should not be homogenised. Using several key strategies of identity management, drug takers employ a range of risk awareness and risk neutralisation techniques to protect self-esteem, avoid social affronts and in maintaining untainted identities. The authors present illicit drug use as one activity amongst other social activities that (some) people, conventionally, pursue. The findings from this study suggest that punitive drug policy, which links drug use with addiction, crime and antisocial behaviour, is inconsistent with the experience of the participants. Research limitations/implications Due to the small sample size (n=24) employed, the possibility that findings can be generalised is rendered difficult. However, generalisation was never an objective of the research; the experiences of this hidden population are deeply subjective and generalising findings and applying them to other populations would be an unproductive endeavour. While the research attempted to recruit an equal number of males and females to this research, gendered analysis was not a primary objective of this research. However, it is acknowledged that future research would greatly benefit from such a gendered focus. Practical implications The insights from the study may be useful in helping to inform future policy discourse on issues of drug use. In particular, the insights suggest that a more nuanced perspective should be adopted. This perspective should recognise the non-deviant identities of many drug users in the contemporary era, and challenge the use of a universally stigmatising discourse and dominance of prohibition narratives. Social implications It is envisaged that this paper will contribute to knowledge on how socially competent users of controlled drugs identify and manage the risks of moral, medical and legal censure. Originality/value The evidence in this paper indicates that drug use is an activity often associated with non-deviant, productive members of the population. However, the continuing dominance of stigmatising policy discourses often leads to drug users engaging in identity concealment within the context of a deeply capitalist Western landscape.
      Citation: Drugs and Alcohol Today
      PubDate: 2019-01-07T12:56:01Z
      DOI: 10.1108/DAT-07-2018-0035
  • Substance use by social workers and implications for professional
    • Pages: 147 - 159
      Abstract: Drugs and Alcohol Today, Volume 19, Issue 2, Page 147-159, June 2019.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore the prevalence and patterns of substance use among Canadian social workers. With legalisation of can professional regulatory bodies are pressed to consider implications of substance use for their members. Design/methodology/approach An online survey collected data about demographics and substance use prevalence and patterns. Statistical analysis involved pairwise comparisons, binary logistic regression models and logistic regression models to explore correlations between substance use and demographic and work-related variables. Findings Among the respondents (n=489), findings indicate that past-year use of cannabis (24.1 per cent), cocaine (4.5 per cent), ecstasy (1.4 per cent), amphetamines (4.3 per cent), hallucinogens (2.4 per cent), opioid pain relievers (21.0 per cent) and alcohol (83.1 per cent) are higher than the general Canadian population. Years of work experience and working night shift were significant predictors of total number of substances used in the past year. Use of a substance by a person when they were a student was highly correlated with use when they were a professional. Research limitations/implications Prevalence of substance use among social workers was found to be higher than the Canadian population; potential due to the anonymous nature of data collection. Originality/value This study has implications for social conceptualisations of professionalism and for decisions regarding professional regulation. Previous literature about substance use by professionals has focussed predominantly on implications for increased surveillance, monitoring, and disciplinary action. We contend that since substance use among professionals tends to be concealed, there may be exacerbated social misconceptions about degree of risk and when it is appropriate to intervene.
      Citation: Drugs and Alcohol Today
      PubDate: 2019-03-12T02:10:50Z
      DOI: 10.1108/DAT-08-2018-0040
  • The role of critical moments in young offenders’ drug-using
    • Abstract: Drugs and Alcohol Today, Ahead of Print.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between drug use and offending by using the concept of critical moments as an analytical tool. Design/methodology/approach In total, 41 semi-structured individual interviews with young people (15–25 years) using drugs and in touch with the criminal justice system (CJS) were conducted. Findings Analysing critical moments in young people’s drug use contributes to explaining some of the multiple, possible links between drug use and offending. Institutional factors emerged as important, as well as social and economic inequality. This was in particular clear when comparing students’ and immigrants’ trajectories. Research limitations/implications Limitations are due to the difficulties in getting access to prisoners and young people in touch with the CJS and the possibility to meet them only once with time limits due to the setting. Practical implications Prevention intervention addressed to this target group could take young people’s social contexts and everyday life situation into consideration. Social implications To decrease both offending and drug use, structural measures aimed at decreasing social inequalities would be more effective than punishment. Originality/value The study proposes a practical way to analyse narratives of young people who have experienced both drug use and offending and to show the importance of socially structured patterns without reducing the complexity of the topic.
      Citation: Drugs and Alcohol Today
      PubDate: 2019-06-18T10:58:08Z
      DOI: 10.1108/DAT-12-2018-0073
  • Development of an alcohol withdrawal risk stratification tool based on
           patients referred to an addiction liaison nursing service in Glasgow
    • Abstract: Drugs and Alcohol Today, Ahead of Print.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to develop an alcohol withdrawal syndrome risk stratification tool that could support the safe discharge of low risk patients from the emergency department. Design/methodology/approach A retrospective cohort study that included all patients referred to the acute addiction liaison nursing service over one calendar month (n=400, 1–30 April 2016) was undertaken. Bivariate and multivariate modelling identified the significant variables that supported the prediction of severe alcohol withdrawal syndrome (SAWS) in the cohort population. Findings The Glasgow Modified Alcohol Withdrawal Scale (GMAWS), hours since last drink, fast alcohol screening test (FAST) and systolic blood pressure correctly identified 89 per cent of patients who developed SAWS and 84 per cent of patients that did not. Increasing each component by a score of one is associated with an increase in the odds of SAWS by a factor of 2.76 (95% CI 2.21, 3.45), 1.31 (95% CI 1.24, 1.37), 1.30 (95% CI 1.08, 1.57) and 1.22 (95% CI 1.10, 1.34), respectively. Research limitations/implications The research was conducted in a single healthcare system that had a high prevalence of alcohol dependence syndrome (ADS). Second, the developed risk stratification tool was unable to guarantee no risk and lastly, the FAST score previously aligned to severe ADS may have influenced the patients highest GMAWS score. Practical implications The tool could help redesign the care pathway for patients who attend the emergency department at risk of SAWS and link low risk patients with community alcohol services better equipped to deal with their physical and psychological needs short and long term supporting engagement, abstinence and prolongation of life. Originality/value The tool could help redesign the care pathway for emergency department patients at low risk of SAWS and link them with community alcohol services better equipped to deal with their physical and psychological needs, short and long term, supporting engagement, abstinence and prolongation of life.
      Citation: Drugs and Alcohol Today
      PubDate: 2019-06-18T10:56:41Z
      DOI: 10.1108/DAT-02-2019-0009
  • Critical reflections on quality standards within drug demand reduction
    • Abstract: Drugs and Alcohol Today, Ahead of Print.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to critically reflect on the usefulness of quality standards aimed at prevention interventions for drug using young offenders. Design/methodology/approach This paper uses critical literature on quality standards, readings of quality standards and qualitative interviews as well as focus-group discussions with professionals working in services targeting drug use among young offenders. Findings The findings show discrepancies between the idea that quality standards provide a tool for supporting the implementation of more effective interventions and professionals’ experiences with quality standards as almost absent in their work. Originality/value This viewpoint highlights barriers to the implementation of quality standards that have to be overcome if quality standards are to be adopted and implemented in practice.
      Citation: Drugs and Alcohol Today
      PubDate: 2019-06-18T10:55:26Z
      DOI: 10.1108/DAT-12-2018-0070
  • Let’s talk about chemsex and pleasure: the missing link in chemsex
    • Abstract: Drugs and Alcohol Today, Ahead of Print.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to document the experience of current and former methamphetamine users on their crystal meth use patterns and on their use of services related to their chemsex practice. Design/methodology/approach For qualitative component, two focus groups were formed with nine current users of methamphetamine and eight former users. Thematic analysis was performed to know their experiences. Findings All participants were already engaging in chemsex with various substances before they first started using methamphetamine. Methamphetamine use led some to slam (methamphetamine or mephedrone injection). Some participants report that their sexual experiences were intensified early in their chemsex practice. They reported feeling more confident with their partners, feeling like they are sexually attractive and overcoming their barriers to sexuality. The intensification of methamphetamine use and, in particular, injection change the positive perception of sexual life. Thus, for some participants, substance use takes more space and their sexual experiences become less satisfactory. Practical implications Participants report the services that address the phenomenon of chemsex are still scarce in Quebec province. In addition, the few services available aim to relearn a sober sexuality. However, the mourning of the positive aspects of chemsex on sexual experiences seems still very little discussed. Greater consideration of positive chemsex experiences is needed in services that address this issue. Originality/value This project documented the perception of pleasure related to sexual practices among regular methamphetamine users. Their perception of pleasure will help develop services adapted to their reality.
      Citation: Drugs and Alcohol Today
      PubDate: 2019-06-18T10:54:07Z
      DOI: 10.1108/DAT-10-2018-0045
  • Underage drinking as a natural part of growing up: a UK study of parental
    • Abstract: Drugs and Alcohol Today, Ahead of Print.
      Purpose Parental beliefs about underage drinking are known to influence the drinking behaviours of their children. The purpose of this paper is to explore parental beliefs about their own child drinking alcohol and young people in general, in order to ascertain whether there is a need to target such beliefs in the design of public health interventions. Design/methodology/approach Parents of 11–18 year olds attending one of nine schools in the Midlands of England, UK were invited to take part. Participants completed a newly designed 40-item questionnaire measuring parental beliefs about the impact and causes of underage drinking; talking to their child about alcohol; and how much and how often they thought their child consumed alcohol. Findings In total, 185 parents took part in the study, reporting on their eldest child aged 18 or under. The majority of parents agreed that underage drinking is detrimental to child health and wellbeing. However, over 60 per cent believed that alcohol consumption is a “natural part of growing up”, and stronger agreement with this belief was associated with higher parental reports of alcohol consumption in their children. Social implications The majority of parents recognised the risks and negative effects of alcohol; however, many also believe it is a natural part of growing up. Parents may hold conflicting beliefs about underage drinking, which could impact on the drinking beliefs and behaviours of their children. Originality/value Public health interventions may need to counter the common parental belief that underage drinking is a normal part of growing up and therefore to be expected. Clear messages about the impact parent beliefs and behaviour have on young people drinking, to ensure parents recognise that messages are aimed at themselves, and not just “other parents” are imperative.
      Citation: Drugs and Alcohol Today
      PubDate: 2019-06-03T07:37:36Z
      DOI: 10.1108/DAT-11-2017-0058
  • Do risk factors increase measurement of hepatitis B, C signs and HIV-AIDS
           among middle-aged and older IDUs in southwest Iran'
    • Abstract: Drugs and Alcohol Today, Ahead of Print.
      Purpose Injecting drug use addiction is a main factor in hepatitis B, C infection and HIV–AIDS infection. The purpose of this paper is to measure seroprevalence of hepatitis B, C virus and HIV–AIDS amongst injecting drug users (IDUs) and its influencing factors. Design/methodology/approach The cross-sectional method was used in mid-2017 in Ahwaz city, southwest Iran. In total, 133 IDUs, aged 29–71 years (mean age=48.21 ± 10.4), were chosen from Aria addiction treatment centre. The data were collected on demographic and behavioural characteristics. In addition, serum samples were screened for those diseases. Findings In a total of 131 IDUs, 2 (1.5 per cent) were HIV+, 16 (11.7 per cent) HCV+ and 8 (6.1 per cent) HBV+. There was a significant correlation between diseases and IDU. Results of multiple regression stated that IDU was a more predicting variable as β=0.76 and the model was able to predict 74.1 per cent of the variance, F (3, 35)=12.42, ρ
      Citation: Drugs and Alcohol Today
      PubDate: 2019-06-03T07:29:16Z
      DOI: 10.1108/DAT-05-2018-0026
  • Examining cannabis protective behavioral strategy use using multiple
    • Abstract: Drugs and Alcohol Today, Ahead of Print.
      Purpose Cannabis use among young adults is increasing, despite being associated with several negative consequences. Protective behavioral strategies (PBSs) are a potential mechanism of behavior change for reducing substance use, yet PBS use for cannabis is not well understood. The purpose of this paper is to further define and measure the PBS construct for cannabis. Design/methodology/approach A community sample of cannabis users (n=54) participated in eight focus groups discussing the use of PBSs. Participants completed surveys regarding demographics, cannabis use habits and cannabis problems. The authors also administered an existing measure of cannabis PBS and asked them to generate new or unique protective strategies that they had used or had heard of others using. Findings Thematic analysis of qualitative focus group data provided information about cannabis users’ reasons for regulating cannabis use (e.g. health or legal problems, interpersonal) as well as strategies to moderate cannabis use or attenuate their risk for experiencing adverse consequences (e.g. distraction, existential/spiritual strategies). Analyses of quantitative survey data revealed that use of PBSs was negatively correlated with cannabis outcomes. Perceived helpfulness of strategies was an important predictor of decreased cannabis use and adverse consequences. Research limitations/implications Findings expand the understanding of the definition and measurement of strategies for regulating cannabis use and reducing related risk of experiencing adverse consequences. Originality/value This is the first study to examine cannabis-related PBS using both qualitative and quantitative methods, which provide insights into the definition of PBS and for future refinements of PBS measurement.
      Citation: Drugs and Alcohol Today
      PubDate: 2019-03-06T03:07:30Z
      DOI: 10.1108/DAT-10-2018-0061
  • Severe alcohol withdrawal syndrome: review of the literature
    • Abstract: Drugs and Alcohol Today, Ahead of Print.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to identify published literature from a general hospital setting that may highlight variables implicated in the development of severe alcohol withdrawal syndrome (SAWS) in patients who have alcohol dependence syndrome (ADS). Design/methodology/approach A systematic literature review was carried out using the electronic databases: MEDLINE, Medline in Process, Cinahl, Embase and PsycINFO from 1989 to 2017. The focus of this search was on English language studies of individuals over 16 years admitted to general hospital with ADS, delirium tremens (DTs), alcohol-related seizure (ARS) or alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS). Findings Of the 205 studies screened, eight met the criteria for inclusion. Six studies were quantitative retrospective cohort and two were retrospective case-control. Six studies investigated risk factors associated with DTs, one examined SAWS and one alcohol kindling. Descriptive analysis was performed to summarise the empirical evidence from studies were 22 statistically significant risk factors were found; including the reason for admission to hospital, daily alcohol consumption, previous DTs and prior ARS. The last two factors mentioned appeared in two studies. Research limitations/implications Further research should consider the quality and completeness of the alcohol history data and competence of staff generating the data in retrospective studies. Originality/value The paper suggests that the factors linked to SAWS development from the literature may not fully explain why some individuals who have ADS develop SAWS, and others do not.
      Citation: Drugs and Alcohol Today
      PubDate: 2019-01-07T03:29:37Z
      DOI: 10.1108/DAT-10-2018-0051
  • Harm reduction in Italy: the experience of an unsanctioned supervised
           injection facility run by drug users
    • Pages: 59 - 71
      Abstract: Drugs and Alcohol Today, Volume 19, Issue 2, Page 59-71, June 2019.
      Purpose Efforts to establish harm reduction interventions in Italy have persisted since the mid-1990s. Despite this, no sanctioned SIF has ever been implemented. The purpose of this paper is to provide information about a 10 year unsanctioned drug user-run SIF experience in Italy called Stanzetta. Design/methodology/approach The aim of the paper is to assess how Stanzetta met its objectives. Analysis was conducted compiling narrative accounts from the staff working in the NSP, which is adjacent to the Stanzetta, and conducting a simple frequency analysis of the available statistical data. Findings The Stanzetta unsanctioned SIF has been running for ten years and continues to be vulnerable due to its legal status. Being open 24 h/days has maximised its accessibility, but at the same time, it has encouraged a misuse of the Stanzetta. Although not trained, drug users became self-empowered to run the Stanzetta and to keep it clean, but the hygiene-health aspect is seen as one of the greatest challenges by the NSP professional staff. Over 10 years, not a single overdose death has been recorded. Drug use in the park has shifted from more visible places to the Stanzetta. As a result, the abandoned syringes have diminished in number and those disposed of correctly have increased. Moreover, no complaints from citizens or law enforcement were ever made. The neighbourhood acceptance seems to be the main goal of the peer-run unsanctioned SIF. Research limitations/implications The paper is based on a narrative account from the point of view of the professional staff involved, and results are specific to the context in which the study was conducted. Because of the chosen approach, the research results lack scientific generalisability. A relevant limitation is that no peer was involved in this study. Despite this, the research contributes to the information based on peer-run SIFs and makes a case for the de-medicalisation of SIFs in Europe. Practical implications This paper gives visibility to a long-lasting drug user-run SIF experience that was not made public mostly for an unclear legislative background about SIF in Italy. Social implications Efforts to establish harm reduction interventions in Italy have persisted since the mid-1990s and were undertaken primarily in response to epidemics of HIV infection and overdose (DPA, 2017). Despite this, no sanctioned SIF has ever been implemented. Primarily, this study wants to underline the urgency for an SIF pilot in Italy, and secondly the need to consider de-medicalising these services through direct support for peer-based models. Originality/value The Stanzetta unsanctioned SIF in Italy that has been running for ten years. Despite this, the venue continues to be vulnerable due to its legal status. For this reason, these results were never made public before. The experience showed a good working synergy between NSP professionals and the SIF peers. This model can be considered as a “light” de-medicalisation form to be explored and eventually to be implemented as a pilot SIF in Italy.
      Citation: Drugs and Alcohol Today
      PubDate: 2018-12-28T09:37:24Z
      DOI: 10.1108/DAT-03-2018-0011
  • Time to look beyond ageing as a factor' Alternative explanations for
           the continuing rise in drug related deaths in Scotland
    • Pages: 72 - 85
      Abstract: Drugs and Alcohol Today, Volume 19, Issue 2, Page 72-85, June 2019.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the reasons and risk factors that explain the threefold increase in drug-related deaths from 267 in 1996 to 934 in 2017 in Scotland. The authors explore the known links between deprivation and problem drug use (PDU) and discuss the impact of drug policy and service provision on PDU and drug-related deaths. Design/methodology/approach Using quantitative data sets from the National Records of Scotland (NRS) for drug-related deaths registered in 2017 and data sets from the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD), we produce statistical data on mortality rates relating to areas of deprivation, gender and age. Findings The data highlight the disproportionate number of deaths in the most deprived areas in comparison to the least deprived areas and the national average. Findings indicate that one quarter of male and female DRD in 2017 were under 35. When examining the least deprived vingtile, drug-related deaths account for 2.84 per 100,000 population. Based on this mortality rate calculation, the amount of drug-related deaths are 23 times higher in the most deprived area than the least deprived area. Research limitations/implications The research design uses data obtained from the NRS and data from Scottish Multiple Index of Deprivation. Due to the limitations of available data, the research design focused on SIMD population vingtiles. Practical implications This research contributes to making unarguable links between entrenched structural inequality and increased drug-related death. Social implications This paper contributes to knowledge on the need for drug policy advisors to recognise the importance of deprivation that plays a major part in risks of problematic drug use and harms. Originality/value While several national data sets have published information by SIMD vingtile, no published research has sought to investigate the disproportionate number of deaths by population in the most deprived areas.
      Citation: Drugs and Alcohol Today
      PubDate: 2018-12-17T03:41:57Z
      DOI: 10.1108/DAT-06-2018-0030
  • Consumer participation in drug treatment: a systematic review
    • Pages: 97 - 112
      Abstract: Drugs and Alcohol Today, Volume 19, Issue 2, Page 97-112, June 2019.
      Purpose It is unclear how consumer participation (CP) can be optimised to transform drug and alcohol treatment services and improve health outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to present the findings of a systematic review examining the types and benefits of activities, and the factors that facilitate CP in drug treatment services. Design/methodology/approach A structured search of four databases was undertaken to identify peer reviewed primary research literature in English. Screened articles were appraised. A content analysis was applied to examine the types and outcomes of CP and the associated factors affecting the process. In total, 16 articles were included for review. Findings A range of CP activities were identified, and benefits included increased consumer satisfaction, and improved health service delivery. Factors that facilitated the process of CP included positive attitudes of both consumers and providers and employment of people with a lived experience of drug use. However, the lack of consumer and organisational capacity, negative attitudes of providers and power imbalances between consumers and providers constrained CP efforts. Practical implications To maximise the benefits of CP in drug and alcohol treatment services, negative attitudes about CP and power dynamics between consumers and health providers need to be addressed. This can be achieved by the strategic use of strengths-based interventions and consumer led education to enhance social capital. Originality/value This is the first known review to examine the benefits and facilitators of CP in drug treatment services.
      Citation: Drugs and Alcohol Today
      PubDate: 2018-10-25T11:43:29Z
      DOI: 10.1108/DAT-05-2018-0023
  • Challenges, relationship and outcomes in low-threshold drug services
    • Pages: 113 - 122
      Abstract: Drugs and Alcohol Today, Volume 19, Issue 2, Page 113-122, June 2019.
      Purpose This paper reports on the findings of an action research study that sought to explore the development and provision of community-based low-threshold services within a socially disadvantaged area. In the context of debates, in regard to both the nature and efficacy of low-threshold drugs services and increasingly neo-liberal policy approaches to drug service provision that prioritise outcomes and drug treatment interventions, the purpose of this paper is to report on practitioners’ understandings of challenges, relationship building and outcomes within community-based low-threshold service provision in Dublin, Ireland. Design/methodology/approach An action research method of co-operative inquiry groups was utilised, with nine practitioners from one community-based drug agency participating in a series of four sessions over a three-month period. Findings Three key themes emerged in relation to building and sustaining client–practitioner relationships: the mechanisms by which the practitioners engaged with their clients and sought to develop relationships; how safe spaces were created and maintained in order to address client needs; and practitioners’ understanding of challenges and outcomes in low-threshold intervention work. Originality/value Drawing on a co-operative inquiry method, this paper concludes that practitioner attention to relational distance evidenced in community-based low-threshold service provision, may provide an alternative to episodic, outcome driven drug treatment and intervention.
      Citation: Drugs and Alcohol Today
      PubDate: 2018-12-28T09:15:04Z
      DOI: 10.1108/DAT-05-2018-0028
  • Social representations of polydrug use in a Finnish newspaper
    • Pages: 123 - 132
      Abstract: Drugs and Alcohol Today, Volume 19, Issue 2, Page 123-132, June 2019.
      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.
      Citation: Drugs and Alcohol Today
      PubDate: 2018-12-17T03:37:42Z
      DOI: 10.1108/DAT-04-2018-0019
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