Home > The risk environment of heroin initiation: young women, intimate partners, and “drug relationships”.

Mayock, Paula and Cronly, Jennifer and Clatts, Michael C (2015) The risk environment of heroin initiation: young women, intimate partners, and “drug relationships”. Substance Use & Misuse , 50 , (6) , pp. 771-782.


This paper examines young women's initiation to heroin use in the context of an intimate relationship based on data from a small-scale ethno-epidemiology of heroin use in Ireland, 2007–2009. The epidemiological sample included 120 young people, and life history interviews were conducted with a sub-sample of 40 youth aged 16–25 years. A detailed analysis of the “risk environment” of young women's heroin initiation highlights a complex interplay between women's agency and intimate partner influence. It is argued that dichotomous representations of women as victims or emancipated consumers do not adequately capture the complexity of women's initiation journeys. The study's limitations are noted and implications for drug use prevention and harm reduction strategies are discussed.


Item Type:Article
Date:2015
Page Range:pp. 771-782
Publisher:Informa healthcare
Volume:50
Number:6
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB (Available)
Subjects:B Substances > Opioids (opiates) > Heroin
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Risk and protective factors > Risk factors
L Social psychology and related concepts > Interpersonal interaction and group dynamics > Peer relations > Level of drugs and alcohol use among peers
L Social psychology and related concepts > Social context > Context of initiation of substance use
L Social psychology and related concepts > Social context > Context encouraging substance use
MM-MO Crime and law > Crime and violence > Crime against persons (assault / abuse / intimidation)
T Demographic characteristics > Woman (women / female)

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