Home > Occasional and controlled heroin use: not a problem?

Warburton, Hamish and Turnbull, Paul J and Hough, Mike (2005) Occasional and controlled heroin use: not a problem? York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

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Little is currently known about groups of occasional and controlled heroin users. This study aims to improve our understanding about patterns of heroin use, the nature of dependence and ways of controlling it. The study describes how this largely hidden population maintained stable and controlled patterns of heroin use. Drawing on an internet survey of heroin users, followed by in-depth qualitative interviews, it examines their reasons for starting to use heroin, previous and current patterns of use, what helped to control use, and why they saw their use as fairly problem-free.

Heroin is a dangerous drug. It can have a devastating impact on individual lives, on users' families and on the wider community. However, as the report shows, some people, in some circumstances, can effectively manage and regulate their use. This raises important issues for treatment. Can dependent and chaotic heroin users learn from the experience of this group? Should controlled heroin use be regarded as an acceptable short- or middle-term goal for clients of drug treatment services? Should popular beliefs about the inherent uncontrollability of heroin dependence be left unchallenged?

The report deconstructs some of the myths surrounding heroin use and heroin dependence. It is relevant to policy-makers, those working in the drug treatment field, academics and drug researchers.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Book
Drug Type
Call No
BL2, AE2.2
xii, 7
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Place of Publication
1 85935 424 4
Accession Number
HRB 3016 (Available)
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