Weston, SK ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8179-3273 (2020) A history of abuse: Documenting the harms experienced by the 'Trainspotting Generation'. Oñati Socio-Legal Series. (In Press)

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The story of the past 40 years has been the relentless hollowing-out of industrial Britain leading to long-term unemployment and discarded generations that have been excluded socially and economically (Pearson 1987a, 1987b, Buchanan and Young 2000). In an attempt to block out these harsh social and economic realities of their lives, the youth of the 80s and 90s turned to heroin (Buchanan and Wyke 1987). By adopting a social harm approach to the analysis of semi-structured interviews with twelve opiate users (OUs), I argue that the problems often associated with drug use – experiences of stigmatisation, unemployment, and physical and mental health – might be best understood as harms resulting from a reductionist discourse that misrepresents drugs and drug users as a threat to society and focuses treatment on reducing the risks that OUs pose rather than enhancing the social resources necessary for human flourishing.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final accepted version of this article can be found with all relevant information and copyrights online at;
Uncontrolled Keywords: Drug use; addiction; social harm; stigmatisation; mental health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social, Political and Global Studies
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2020 11:10
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2020 11:10
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/8851

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