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Drug trends & responses - University College Cork


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  • Neil I don't think that data is available as you can appreciate there are many variables to each case
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  • Useful slideshow, thanks Tim. Just wondering if the figures could be further refined by looking at whether the 'poisonings' were accidental, considered part of a suicide attempt etc. This might allow us to have a fuller understanding of the current situation.
    neil Wilson WRDTF / Aidswest
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Drug trends & responses - University College Cork

  1. 1. Drug Trends & Responses Tim Bingham University College Cork 27th April
  2. 2. What are the current challenges • What are the current drug trends and challenges facing communities and Irish Society today • What do you think the responses should be
  3. 3. Current challenges Drug problems more widespread, more embedded and more complex Drug and alcohol use, particularly long term use causes damage to mental and physical health and there is a strong association between drug use, suicide and accidental deaths and more people now die from drug related deaths than on the roads every year. The most recent figures indicate that more than two and a half times as many people died from drugs & alcohol (638) than from road deaths (238)
  4. 4. Poisoning Deaths
  5. 5. • Heroin implicated in 70 of the 2010 deaths (N=323) compared to 115 in 2009 (heroin drought in UK and Ireland) • 52% of deaths are due to 1 substance, 48% are polydrug related (increasingly more common since 2004) • Alcohol involved in 46% of deaths • Alcohol solely implicated in 24% of deaths
  6. 6. • Cocaine implicated in 20 deaths compared to 66 in 2007 (matches wider European trend) • Methadone continues to be implicated in fewer deaths; 80 in 2008, 69 in 2009 and 56 in 2010 • Benzos were the 2nd most common drug group implicated in deaths 34% (after alcohol)
  7. 7. Image and Performance Enhancing Drugs (IPEDs) • In sub groups consider the following: • What are the main motivations for the use of IPEDs? • Can we define them in groups? • How do they compare with people who use street Drugs?
  8. 8. Addiction/dependency • 3 or more DSM-IV criteria need to be met for a diagnosis of dependency Use higher doses for a longer periods of time than initially planned Desire to cut down on drug use but unable to do this Continue to use steroids in spite of negative health consequences Increased doses required for desired effect Discontinuation associated with withdrawal symptoms
  9. 9. Comparison with Street Drugs • • • • • • • • Similarities Stigma Method of administration Poly drug use How bought Dependency Differences Self perception How bought Legality Self welfare Social status? Ratio of men to women No instant gratification
  10. 10. Drug Markets • Drug Markets are Transient in nature Visible, open air drug markets tend to be more harmful per unit of use than hidden, closed drug markets (Alex Stevens 2013) Susceptible to the economic changes
  11. 11. • Generally, prohibition of drugs increases their price, which can encourage users to inject (rather than smoke or snort) in order to maximise their intake from a limited supply. The transition to injection is itself associated with major health risks internationally • Netherlands – which has reduced the punitiveness of its response to PWUDs has seen a reduction in the rate of injecting drug use. • Some studies have found that local policing tactics can contribute to increased health risks for PWUDs. E.g, the criminalisation of drug possession encourages people who inject drugs (PWIDs) to inject hurriedly in unsafe environments and increasing risks of transmitting bloodborne viruses
  12. 12. Drug sellers • “the drug economy goes up and down. This time of year is the worst for selling drugs with school starting and people saving for Xmas. Sometime I make a couple of grand a week sometimes two hundred when I have to pay a ‘bill’. Or I want new car then u use all your profit rather than by outright” • Economics Credit or cash  usually paid for their product in advance .  usually got the drugs for resale on credit. Again there was a recessionary effect as respondents said they could only by smaller amounts with cash now and some had moved completely from cash purchase to credit O’Reilly & Ruane (2011)
  13. 13. Reasons individuals became involved To be able to afford their personal recreational drug use A minority gave ‘money’ as the main reason to become involved “I wanted me own money, me ma and da never had any. I wanted hash and money and loads of airmax ha!”  having family and friends already involved  described job satisfaction: ‘I enjoyed it, I hated school it was hard in school this way easy and I was good at it. I was always a bit wild and a fighter so that helped
  14. 14. No way out its my job, too much depends on it. I have accumulated high amounts of debt it is like a revolving door. Your owed money and you owe money” There was also the sense that this was their identity not something that could be slipped out of
  15. 15. • Luksetich and White (1983) suggest, based on early ethnographic work, that heroin addicts may have a fixed budget for all items other than heroin, representing the minimum that is needed for shelter, food, and clothes; if so, there would be unitary price elasticity. In contrast, more affluent users of marijuana, for whom the drug accounts for a small share of their total incomes, may change their total consumption very little in response to price increases.
  16. 16. • For example, the intensity of a drug experience is influenced by the time since last use, the expectations of the user, and circumstances of use, summarized in the phrase, “drug, set, and setting” (Zinberg, 1984).
  17. 17. Tim Bingham Tel 086 389 3530 Email