Home > Where-ever I lay my hat . . . a study of out of home drug users.

Cox, Gemma and Lawless, Marie (1999) Where-ever I lay my hat . . . a study of out of home drug users. Dublin: Merchants Quay Project.

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The objectives of this research were: to research the national and international information available on the relationship between homelessness and drug use; to identify the extent of homelessness among drug users who present at the Merchant's Quay Project's Contact Centre; to examine the sleeping arrangements of homeless drug users who present at the Contact Centre and its impact on respondents risk behaviour; and, to inform local and national policy makers on the relationship between drug use and homelessness.

A total of 190 active drug users completed a screening questionnaire, of whom 53 completed the survey of out of home drug users. The profile of the client group provided by the survey showed that the participants were extremely vulnerable by virtue of their drug use, low educational attainment and legal status. 98% of the sample were intravenous heroin users, with an average injecting career of 5.2 years. Sleeping arrangements varied according to the age of the respondent. 86% reported attending at least one centre that explicitly provided homeless services. Just over one third stated they were not claiming social welfare assistance at the time of the survey. A similar number were attending another drug treatment centre. Contact with general practitioners was low. 66% reported higher levels of both drug use and risk behaviour since being out of home.

The research indicates high levels of homelessness among a sample of chaotic drug users, and provides information on the impact of homelessness on these individuals.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Report
Drug Type
All substances, Opioid
Call No
MK10.6, AA2, VH4.2
x, 69
Merchants Quay Project
Place of Publication
includes tables, graphs, bibliographic references. Report commissioned by the Fransican Social Justice Initiatves, supported by the Combat Poverty Agency
Accession Number
HRB 249 (Available)
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