Exploring Pathways into and out of Amphetamine Type Stimulant use at Critical Turning Points: A Qualitative Interview Study

Addison, Michelle, Kaner, Eileen, Spencer, Liam, Mcgovern, William, McGovern, Ruth, Gilvarry, Eilish and O'Donnell, Amy (2020) Exploring Pathways into and out of Amphetamine Type Stimulant use at Critical Turning Points: A Qualitative Interview Study. Health Sociology Review. ISSN 1446-1242 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/14461242.2020.1811747


Amphetamine Type Stimulants (ATS) are increasingly used drugs globally. There is limited evidence about what shapes ATS use at critical turning points located within drug using pathways. Using turning point theory, as part of a life course approach, the ATTUNE study aimed to understand which social, economic and individual factors shape pathways into and out of ATS use. Qualitative, semi-structured interviews (n=70) were undertaken with individuals who had used ATS, or who had been exposed to them at least once in their lifetime. Our findings show that turning points for initiation were linked to pleasure, curiosity, boredom and declining mental health; increased use was linked to positive effects experienced at initiation and multiple life-stressors, often leading to more intense use. Decreased use was prompted by pivotal events (e.g. imprisonment) and sustained through continued wellbeing, day-to-day structure, and non-using social networks. We argue that the heterogeneity of these individuals challenges stereotypes of stimulant use allied to nightclubs and ‘hedonism’. Further, even at critical turning points for recovery, the use of services for problematic ATS consumption was low because users prioritised their alcohol or opioid use when seeking help. There is a need to develop service provision, training, and better outreach to individuals who need support at critical turning points.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Amphetamine, Ecstasy, Qualitative, UK, treatment
Subjects: B200 Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmacy
B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
L900 Others in Social studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2020 11:01
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2020 15:00
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/44087

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