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Title: An exploration of a new heroin outbreak
Author: Higgins, Kathryn Mary
ISNI:       0000 0001 2445 3416
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2008
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Using case study methodology this research examines a new heroin . outbreak in one location in Northern Ireland, the town of Ballymena, Co Antrim. The scene for the research is set with a chronological description of the development of heroin use within Northern Ireland generally and the location of Ballymena in particular, with reference to unfolding trends in local drug policy. Analysis of local newspaper coverage of the heroin . outbreak highlights t!le important role played by the media in raising the profile of the emerging heroin problem in the location. The research illustrates that the development of a heroin outbreak within any location is highly complex. An important finding to emerge is that an interaction between past and present, and individual and structural level factors appear pivotal to its understanding. A central product of the historical conditions in NI was a lack of awareness about heroin among perspns initiating and professionals within the addiction services. When set against the back~rop of rapid developments occurring in the more contemporary drug market this knowledge deficit .assisted the progress of the heroin outbreak. Lack of capacity within the existing support services to cope with the initial introduction of heroin to the locality was illustrated by the data. Difficulties in expanding treatment options to include harm reduction, is also highlighted. The very direct implications of the Northern Ireland conflict and overall legacy of violence are highlighted with reference to the paramilitary violence against the heroin-using community in the location. Finally, the utility of findings derived from the study are presented with respect to their contribution to drug policy, practice and research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available