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Title: Illegal drug use among older adults
Author: Waters, Jaime
ISNI:       0000 0004 2694 2346
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2010
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Illegal drug use IS a much discussed, publicised and researched area of criminology. However, there has been little interest in its mature users. It is this subsection of illegal drug users that is investigated in this research. As the first generation of widespread and popular drug users is reaching late-middle age, this is becoming a fast growing and fascinating area of study. As the size of this drug using subsection is set to grow in coming years, the lack of existing research in this area is becoming more and more apparent. Existing research related to the area of drug use among older adults tends to be out-of date, predominantly American based, and looks largely at alcohol use, prescription misuse, and over-the-counter abuse. Equally, there is a lack of community based research in this area, which relies heavily on samples taken from the criminal justice system and treatment centres. This research aims to address these deficiencies. To create therefore as complete a picture of this little investigated social phenomenon as possible both quantitative and qualitative research techniques are incorporated into the research. Quantitatively, secondary data analysis is used to explore the British Crime Survey. Univariate, bivariate, and multivariate techniques are used to analyse the data set, including hypothesis testing and logistics regression. For the qualitative component, the research uses snowball sampling to conduct face to-face in-depth interviews with adults over the age of 40 involved in recent illegal drug use living in the community. Overall, this research shows that older recent illegal drug users exists, it produces a profile of older recent drug users, including demographic and criminological characteristics, and illustrates the drug using careers of older drug users, showing how they incorporate drug use into their lives. Ultimately, it provides evidence that contradicts the notion that illegal drug use is an activity reserved exclusively for the young and shows that drug use does not exclude having a long, happy and productive life.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available