Drugs: patterns of use

Martin Plant, Roy Robertson, Moira Plant and Patrick Miller

in Drug Nation

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199544790
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754609 | DOI:

Series: International Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry

Drugs: patterns of use

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  • Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology
  • Addiction Medicine


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This chapter will present details of changes of drug use, especially since the emergence of the ‘drug scene’ among teenagers and young adults in the 1960s. This review will outline demographic and geographical variations and the upsurge in drug use (including polydrug use, the use of a variety of illicit and legal substances) among both men and women. It will feature the authors’ own research indicating that the levels of teenage drug use in the UK were among the highest in Europe. This chapter will describe the adoption of new types of drug, such as ecstasy (MDMA), crack cocaine, ‘skunk’, cannabis, gammahydroxybutyrate (GHB), and mephedrone. It features the latest findings of the 2007 European School Survey Project on Alcohol and other Drugs (ESPAD). This unique study is eliciting detailed information about illicit drugs use as well as alcohol and tobacco use, among a sample of over 2100 teenage school students throughout the UK. It will be argued that illicit drug use has become firmly normalized throughout the UK.

Chapter.  18247 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Psychiatry ; Pharmacology ; Addiction Medicine

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