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Are drug treatment services only for 'thieving junkie scumbags'? Drug users and the management of stigmatised identities.

Radcliffe, Polly C., Stevens, Alex (2008) Are drug treatment services only for 'thieving junkie scumbags'? Drug users and the management of stigmatised identities. Social Science and Medicine, 67 (7). pp. 1065-1073. ISSN 0277-9536. (doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2008.06.004) (KAR id:13331)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2008.06.004

Abstract

This article uses qualitative interviews with 53 problematic drug users who had dropped out of treatment in England, UK to explore how they describe the stigmatisation of drug users and drug services. It discusses the construction of the category of the junkie through its association with un-controlled heroin use and criminality. It shows how some drug users carefully manage information about their discreditable identities by excluding themselves from this category, while acknowledging its validity for other drug users. The junkie

justice system to concentrate prolific offenders in treatment may have the perverse effects of excluding other people who have drug problems and of prolonging the performance of the junkie identity within treatment services. It is concluded that treatment agencies

should address these issues, including through the provision of more drug services in mainstream settings, in order to ensure that drug services are not seen to be suitable only for one particularly stigmatised category of drug user.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2008.06.004
Uncontrolled keywords: UK; substance misuse; drug treatment services; stigma; identity
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > European Institute of Social Services
Depositing User: Alex Stevens
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2009 14:19 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 12:23 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/13331 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Stevens, Alex: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4878-3871
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