Exploring user perceptions of occasional and controlled heroin use: a follow-up study

Tim McSweeney and Paul J. Turnbull
5th Jul 2007

An examination of how occasional and controlled heroin users managed their drug use over an extended period of time.

A previous study revealed that some people felt able to regulate and manage their use of heroin so that it caused them few problems – a finding that is starkly at odds with media portrayal of, political debate about and public understanding of heroin users. The authors:

  • re-interview up to 51 heroin users originally questioned during 2004 and 2005;
  • establish the stability of controlled and non-dependent patterns of use reported during the initial study; and
  • eliminate the possibility that these were just transient or temporary changes in heroin use.

The research offers a better understanding of the nature of dependence, and identifies tactics to help dependent heroin users gain greater control over their drug use and ultimately abstain.

Available in electronic format only.

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