Pavarin RM, First Consumers, Then Socially Integrated: Results of a Study on 100 Italian Drug Users Who Had Never Turned to Public or Private Addiction Services, Substance use and Misuse, Published on line 04 May 2016

Pubblicato il 05/05/2016

This study, which addressed a per quota sample of 100 socially integrated drug users (SID) residing in Emilia Romagna (Italy) who have never referred to a public/private Addiction Service, has four main aims: (1) to describe the phenomenology of substance use in all its different facets; (2) to identify feared unwanted consequences due to the use of illegal substances and possible behaviors finalized to preventing them; (3) to identify possible common consumption rules; (4) to identify any differences among the SID. Two types of consumers have been compared: the “law-breakers” (i.e. those who have committed an illegal activity to procure money) and the “law-abiders” (no such action).From the interviewees some discontinuous consumption trajectories over time are reported in relation to the different levels of disposable income and the change in the relationship with the substances. Most of these consumers fear being stigmatized or labeled as drug-addicts, and cause themselves physical, psychological or economic harm; instead only a minority fear developing addiction. The most widespread protective behavior is to purchase through trusted direct channels, followed by the attempt to limit the doses and to consume only in positive emotional states. Rules of conduct implemented at a general level by all the consumers were evidenced, which the law-breakers finalize towards a greater attention to their own psycho-physical health and to better handling the effects produced by the substances, while the law-abiders seek to keep their status as consumers secret.