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Home > An overview of the nature and extent of illicit drug use amongst the Traveller community: an exploratory study.

National Advisory Committee on Drugs. Fountain, Jane (2006) An overview of the nature and extent of illicit drug use amongst the Traveller community: an exploratory study. Dublin: Stationery Office.

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This report presents the findings of an exploratory study aimed at assessing the nature and extent of drug use amongst the Traveller community in Ireland. The results are intended to inform the policy debate by providing data on drug use, problematic drug use, patterns of drug use, drug-related risk behaviours, the impact of drug use on the Traveller community, and gaps in service provision, thus highlighting the needs of Travellers for drug service planners, commissioners, and providers. The overarching message of this report is that the social exclusion of Travellers puts them at risk of problematic drug use, and there are indications that this is already occurring in this community.However, overall, Travellers lack the information to tackle drug use and problematic drug use, and there is inadequate consideration by drug policy and drug services of Travellers' drug-related needs. The report's recommendations, which are firmly based on the findings presented in this report, focus on how these issues can be addressed.

The aims of the study were to: provide an overview of the nature and extent of illicit drug use amongst the Traveller community; identify patterns of problematic drug use and drug-related risk behaviours; and describe what interventions are needed to prevent and deal with the harmful health consequences of illicit drug use.

Data collection methods consisted of a comprehensive literature search and review, and semistructured interviews and focus groups with 137 Travellers and 34 agency workers.

The study has provided evidence - from the study participants and from previous research - that there is drug use and problematic drug use amongst Travellers; that Travellers, because of their social exclusion, are at a high risk of developing problematic drug use; and that members of this population face barriers to drug service access. This document therefore serves as the evidence base for the recommendations for the development of drug services.

There is a total lack of statistical prevalence estimates of drug use and problematic drug use amongst the Traveller community in Ireland, and whilst Travellers are thought to be under-represented as drug service clients, the lack of ethnic monitoring by drug services means that the extent to which this under-representation occurs cannot be accurately ascertained. However, the current lack of statistical data should not be used as a justification for services to delay addressing the drug-related needs of Travellers: the wealth of qualitative evidence presented in this report can be employed immediately to address developments in drug services.


Item Type
Report
Date
2006
Call No
REF, NACD
Pages
111 p.
Publisher
Stationery Office
Corporate Creators
National Advisory Committee on Drugs
Place of Publication
Dublin
ISBN
0-7557-7447-7
Keywords
prevalence, minority, minority group, ethnic group, Ireland
Notes
Includes references.
EndNote
Accession Number
HRB 3193 (Available), HRB 3536 (Available)

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