Gambling with life - injection drug use, risk taking and overdoses

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Gambling with life - injection drug use, risk taking and overdoses

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Gambling with life - injection drug use, risk taking and overdoses
Author(s) Richert, Torkel ; Svensson, Bengt
Date 2008-11-10
English abstract
Aims: This article describes experiences of overdose among a group of long time heroin users. The main aim is to seek understanding for circumstances, motives and actions concerning the phenomena overdose. Methods: The data was collected through focus-groups and in depth interviews during the period September 2006- January 2008. A total of 52 participants took part in the study. Results: The participants were aware of many of the common risk factors for overdoses. In spite of this most participants had vast experience of overdoses. Most overdoses did occur as a result of a conscious risk taking behavior. A number of different circumstances and motives meant that risks for overdoses were ignored or that risks were considered to be subordinate to the expected benefits of risk taking. The search for the “ultimate rush”, severe abstinence, anxiety and depression, feelings of indifference and despondency, an unsafe and stressful environment are example of factors that led to a decrease in risk thinking and/or an increase of risk taking. Conclusions: Heroine overdoses can not fully be understood only by defining different isolated risk factors. There is also a need to explore the awareness of these risks among heroin users, how users comprehend and value these risks and what circumstances and which emotions and motives influence risk taking action that can lead to overdose. Key words: Overdose, heroin, injection drug use, risk taking, motives, occupational hazard, focus-groups, in-depth interviews, Sweden
Host/Issue Nordisk alkohol & narkotikatidskrift (NAT);5, 2008
ISSN 1455-0725
Language swe (iso)
Subject(s) Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
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