Home > Travellers and substance use: implications for service provision.

Van Hout, Marie Claire (2010) Travellers and substance use: implications for service provision. International Journal of Health Promotion and Education, 48, (2), pp. 36-41. https://doi.org/10.1080/14635240.2010.10708179.

 Introduction: The Traveller community as ethnic minority experience many risk factors for problematic substance use relating to their life circumstances, which include; “peer pressure, stress, anxiousness, family crisis, community or neighbourhood disorganisation, sibling use, parental use, sensation seeking behaviours and depression” (Fountain, 2006). The extent of Traveller drug use remains unknown due to the lack of ethnic identifiers in reporting systems and a lack of Travellers accessing services (Paveepoint, 2005c).

Research Aim: The research aimed to yield an anecdotal presentation of Traveller substance use from the perspectives of drug, social, law and community service providers in Ireland.

Methods: The research was qualitative in design and consisted of semi structured interviews with service providers (n = 45) in order to generate a more comprehensive picture of current dominant perceptions of the “experiences and issues relating to drug and alcohol use among Travellers“.

Results: The research findings indicated that drug and alcohol use in the Traveller community in Ireland is increasing in terms of excessive alcohol use, certain drugs used and patterns of problematic substance use. Travellers have poor awareness of potential risks relating to substance use and most are using drugs and alcohol in order to deal with boredom, depression and poverty. Travellers were reported to be difficult to engage with in terms of addiction treatment, due to issues with group work, literacy and family crisis.

Conclusion: It is vital to consider the needs of the Travellers and their reported substance use in the development of proactive, culturally specific and supportive drug prevention and treatment protocols.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Identification #
Page Range
pp. 36-41
Institute of Health Promotion and Education
Accession Number
HRB (Not in collection)
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