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Title: Clarity through the smoke : an investigation into London service users' experiences and understanding of the interaction of 'psychosis' and cocaine
Author: Duffy, James
ISNI:       0000 0004 2718 345X
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2011
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This study followed a grounded theory methodology in investigating the relationship between psychosis and cocaine dependency; which is a specific dual-diagnosis population that has been under-researched. To the researcher's knowledge, this is the first study to use qualitative methodology to explore the link between psychosis and cocaine. Eight participants were recruited from an inner-London substance misuse service. All participants were primary cocaine users (or recently abstinent ex-users), the majority of whom normally smoked crack-cocaine, and all additionally experienced psychosis. Semi-structured interviews were completed, focusing on what participants believed caused their mental health difficulties; what participants' views were on why they began using cocaine; and how participants believed their drug use has affected their mental health. From analysis of participants' interviews a model was created that provides an explanation for cocaine use in this group. This replicates psycho-social aspects of previous models of dependency, but also offers new contributions to understanding this specific group. One of the key findings from this study was that cocaine is not reported to be a causal factor in developing psychosis, while for some, cannabis was. Another finding was that people self-medicate with cocaine, both to improve mood and to help manage voices. Another specific factor in the maintenance of dependency was exploitation by drug dealers. Participants' relationships with family members and professionals were explored. It seems that misunderstanding of participants' substance misuse difficulties was a significant reason for break downs in such relationships. The study therefore recommends more training for mental health professionals in collaborative approaches (such as motivational interviewing) and more involvement and support for families; so as to better engage this complex group.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available