Trajectories of drug involvement among young people in contact with criminal justice systems in six European countries

Rolando, Sara, Beccaria, Franca and Duke, Karen L. ORCID logoORCID: (2021) Trajectories of drug involvement among young people in contact with criminal justice systems in six European countries. In: Who? Variation and distinction in the European drugs landscape. Chatwin, Caroline, Potter, Gary R and Werse, Bernd, eds. Pabst Publishers, Lengerich, Germany, pp. 127-145. pbk-ISBN 9783958537224, e-ISBN 9783958537231. [Book Section]


Exploring drug use trajectories of young people living in six EU countries, this chapter contributes to the understanding of drugs use among youth in contact with criminal justice systems and provides insights into the relationship between drugs and crime. Based on 198 individual interviews and common systematic content analysis, results show how this group’s patterns of use intersect with the concept of normalisation. However, alongside different types of pleasurable and positive effects, many interviewees also used drugs to cope with stress and escape from a variety of problems, including difficult relationships with parents or carers, which was the most important factor related to problematic use in their view. With respect to the impact of the criminal justice system, although a decrease in drug use was the most frequently reported behaviour, persisting patterns were more common than quitting ones, and were justified with the need to cope with stress, loneliness and boredom related to having restricted freedom. Finally, the analysis of the relationship between drug use and offending behaviours showed variations based on different levels of social exclusion, highlighting that relatively advantaged young people are also ‘at risk’, due to contradictions that are inherent in contemporary societies and lifestyles.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 34501
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Depositing User: Karen Duke
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2022 10:23
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2022 13:44

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