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Male injecting drug users and the impact of imprisonment

Tompkins, Charlotte Nyala Elizabeth (2011) Male injecting drug users and the impact of imprisonment. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.


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To reflect concerns associated with the over representation of drug users in prison, policy regarding the control and treatment of drug users in prison in England and Wales has developed significantly over recent years, particularly since increased prison drug risk taking, such as injecting has been identified. Yet, there is little up to date, in-depth research considering what happens to injecting behaviour in prison. This study therefore used qualitative research to explore the impact of imprisonment on men’s injecting drug use and provide a current perspective on how and why the prison environment influenced their drug using behaviour, considering how this differed to their community behaviours. Thirty men with a history of injecting drug use and imprisonment were sampled from community services in an English city. They were interviewed in-depth about their drug use before, during and after release from prison. A grounded theory approach underpinned the study and informed the analysis. Prison was identified as a time when participants found relief from hectic and intense drug using community lifestyles as they exercised more choice and control over their drug use. Yet time in prison was not necessarily drug free as participants took illicit drugs to prison with them to use. This advanced preparation and the reasons for it are new findings, enabled through the exploratory research approach. Men’s illicit drug using behaviours in prison differed to their pre prison practices as different drugs were used, in different ways to injecting and at reduced levels to before imprisonment. The misuse of buprenorphine medication by snorting in prison was also identified as a new trend, taking over from heroin. To categorise the different types of men’s prison drug using behaviours and to help explain the nature these when compared to before prison, the study developed and presents models of illicit drug use and routes of drug administration.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Medicine and Health (Leeds) > Institute of Psychological Sciences (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.578688
Depositing User: Digitisation Studio Leeds
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2016 08:53
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2016 14:40
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/13593

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