Problem drug users and assault

J Neale, M Bloor*, C Weir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Cross-sectional data collected as part of an ongoing longitudinal study are presented on 560 drug users (the great majority of them heroin users) beginning treatment in a range of drug services across Scotland. Multivariate analyses were conducted to examine factors associated with reports of recently committing assault and with reports of recently being assaulted. Nearly one in five respondents (18%) had committed assault in the last 3 months and 25% had been assaulted in the last 6 months (8% had both committed assault and been an assault victim). Four of the five factors that were independently associated with committing a recent assault were also independently associated with being a victim of recent assault, namely being male; use of crack in the last 90 days; having slept rough or in a hostel in the last 6 months; and having been physically abused. Additionally, selling or supplying drugs was independently associated with committing a recent assault, and not having used heroin in the last 90 days was independently associated with having been recently assaulted. The findings suggest that drug treatment providers have roles to play in addressing the violent tendencies of, and high levels of victimisation experienced by, their clients. However, this will require drug agency staff to work collaboratively with other professional groups to offer flexible forms of support that address clients' multiple needs. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-402
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Drug Policy
Volume16
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005

Keywords

  • drug use
  • assault
  • drug treatment
  • violence
  • victims
  • SUBSTANCE-ABUSE TREATMENT
  • SEVERE MENTAL-ILLNESS
  • VIOLENT CRIME
  • VICTIMIZATION
  • NEXUS
  • SEVERITY
  • PROGRAMS
  • ADDICTS
  • ALCOHOL
  • COCAINE

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