Youth, heroin, crack: a review of recent British trends

Youth, heroin, crack: a review of recent British trends Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to review the research evidence on recent British trends in the use of heroin and/or crack‐cocaine by young people in order to appraise the scale and nature of the contemporary health problem they pose. Design/methodology/approach – The approach consists of a narrative review of the main current data sources on young people's drug use. Findings – Use of heroin or crack‐cocaine is rare in Britain in the general population of young people and is concentrated more amongst young adults than adolescents. There is some evidence for associations between use of these drugs and socio‐economic disadvantages, although the links are complex. There may be fruitful connections to be made between drug policy and public health strategies for tackling health inequalities. Practical implications – Embedding responses to young people's heroin/crack use within mainstream strategies to tackle health inequalities may be mutually beneficial to both policy agendas. Originality/value – Situating in its proper evidential context the emotive issue of young people's use of what are believed to be the most dangerous illicit drugs, and appraising these data from a public health perspective, may lead to a more realistic and appropriate research and policy response. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Health Education Emerald Publishing

Youth, heroin, crack: a review of recent British trends

Health Education, Volume 108 (3): 10 – Apr 18, 2008

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0965-4283
DOI
10.1108/09654280810867105
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to review the research evidence on recent British trends in the use of heroin and/or crack‐cocaine by young people in order to appraise the scale and nature of the contemporary health problem they pose. Design/methodology/approach – The approach consists of a narrative review of the main current data sources on young people's drug use. Findings – Use of heroin or crack‐cocaine is rare in Britain in the general population of young people and is concentrated more amongst young adults than adolescents. There is some evidence for associations between use of these drugs and socio‐economic disadvantages, although the links are complex. There may be fruitful connections to be made between drug policy and public health strategies for tackling health inequalities. Practical implications – Embedding responses to young people's heroin/crack use within mainstream strategies to tackle health inequalities may be mutually beneficial to both policy agendas. Originality/value – Situating in its proper evidential context the emotive issue of young people's use of what are believed to be the most dangerous illicit drugs, and appraising these data from a public health perspective, may lead to a more realistic and appropriate research and policy response.

Journal

Health EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 18, 2008

Keywords: Drugs; Youth

References

  • Health promotion, advocacy and health inequalities
    Carlisle, S.
  • Effectiveness of alliances and partnerships for health promotion
    Gillies, P.
  • Effective monitoring of young people's use of illegal drugs: meta‐analysis of UK trends and recommendations
    Gore, S.; Drug Survey Investigators Consortium
  • Making Democracy Work
    Putnam, R.
  • Low levels of negative health and social outcomes among non‐treatment heroin users in Glasgow (Scotland): evidence for controlled heroin use?
    Shewan, D.; Dalgarno, P.

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