A study into the recreational use of mephedrone among regular, poly-drug users

Baker, Michael (2010) A study into the recreational use of mephedrone among regular, poly-drug users. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    This study examines the recreational use of the drug mephedrone (4-MMC) among a sample of regular users of stimulating substances associated with the youth culture of “clubbing”. With the mediated moral panic towards the use of the drug and the proposed adverse effects that it reportedly causes; this study looked to examine not only the initial reasons for the proponents of its use but also the deeper sociological and criminological explanations surrounding the hedonistic culture of risk and consumption that dominates youth culture. Through the use of interpretative phenomenological analysis, this study examined the cases of five regular users of the drug by implementing semi-structured interviews to understand why they decided to take mephedrone and continue using the drug, what significant role the drug played within their leisure and social lives, any issues of relative harm the drug may have caused them, and the role that illegalisation played in the consistency of its use. The study found that mephedrone was seen as a “chemical substitute” for poor quality alternatives such as MDMA powder and that it had three main, initial desirability factors: legal status, cheap price and direct accessibility to the drug through the Internet. These reasons were conjoined with the hedonistic personalities of each of the participants along with the supportive sub-cultural values within their own friendship groups that helped to encourage regular use of the drug. Furthermore, the drug played a significant role in not only being a physiological aid to a night of “clubbing” but also in increasing social cohesion at after parties. Though a majority of participants admitted suffering short-term physical and mental ailments, none of the participants documented any form of long-term illness or dependence upon the drug. The study found that illegalisation of mephedrone played a significant role in degrading quality and increasing the price of the drug. This in turn meant that participants withdrew away from regular use and continued to use alternative illicit substances that had returned to a high enough purity to be regularly consumed.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2013 14:03
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:16
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/939

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