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Contemporary Issues Concerning Illicit Drug Use in the British Isles

NCJ Number
Journal of Drug Issues Volume: 28 Issue: Dated: Pages: edition (Winter 1998)-8
R Power
Date Published
8 pages
This article introduces a series of 14 papers that focus on drug trends and related matters in the context of the British Isles.
The article looks first at drug trends in the 1990s and changing priorities in terms of key questions relating to illicit drug use. Whereas the concern of the early 1980s centered on help-seeking patterns, by the mid-1980s this concern shifted toward the health and service implications of the link between HIV disease and injecting drug use. The resultant syringe exchange programs and methadone programs for heroin users have an important role in engaging drug users into treatment and effecting behavioral change relative to injecting drugs and the risk of HIV infection. The article examines the role of social science research in policy development and evaluation of the efficacy of a wide range of interventions, particularly social behavioral ones. It also considers responses to the problem, including political responses. The 14 articles in this series use a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods and data sources, focus on contemporary issues, and place the drug misuse problem in a historical and social context. References