1st Edition

Illegal Drug Use Through The Lifecourse A Study Of 'Hidden' Older Users

By David Moxon, Jaime Waters Copyright 2017
    192 Pages
    by Routledge

    192 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Hidden older illegal drug users are a seldom researched group; most research on illegal drug users instead focusses on the young or the institutionalised. To counter this trend, this book reports on a study of current 'hidden' users of illegal drugs aged 40 and over. These are individuals who have sustained illegal drug use over the long term, largely away from the gaze of the authorities, whilst living otherwise 'conventional' lives, holding down jobs, raising families and so on. Thus they have much to tell us about how illegal substances can be integrated into life over the long term, how that integration intersects with other aspects of one's existence, and how illegal drug use is ultimately shaped by changes in personal circumstances and wider social contexts. Utilising insights from the 'life course perspective', the development of the participants' use over their lives is analysed and placed in social context. The book also details the nature of their current drug use. Thus, the book illustrates the place of illegal drugs in the lives of the participants, and how this came to be over the decades as they also juggled work, family and the everyday minutiae of life with their use. The result is a unique look at the illegal drug use of an often ignored group of older drug users, which charts the changing role that illegal drugs have played - and continue to play - in their lives.

    List of tables

    List of figures


    Chapter 1. Introduction

    Chapter 2. Methodology

    Chapter 3. Past: Lives spent with illegal drugs

    Chapter 4. Present: Living with illegal drugs today

    Chapter 5. Future: Prospects for hidden illegal drug use among older adults





    Dr David Moxon was formerly senior lecturer in criminology at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. Following undergraduate studies in law and a master's degree in international political economy, David undertook doctoral research on a sociolegal theme at the University of Sheffield, being awarded his PhD in 2008. As well as his work on the ‘hidden’ drug use of older adults he has focused upon contemporary issues of criminological theorising, including the notion of ‘social censure’, the viability of Marxian theory in the criminological arena and consumerism and its relation to crime.

    Dr Jaime Waters is a senior lecturer and course leader in criminology at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. Her research to date has focused on illegal drug use among older adults. Jaime’s PhD on the topic was awarded by the University of Sheffield in 2010, following on from master's level studies at the same institution and undergraduate studies at the University of Western Ontario (Canada). She has also published work on research methodology and she teaches on qualitative and quantitative methods.

    'A fascinating book that provides important insights into a group oft-neglected by research, yet much speculated about: the aging drug user who has neither matured out of drug use nor come to the attention of treatment services or the criminal justice system. A valuable and timely contribution to the literature'. Dr Gary Potter, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Lancaster University Law School

    'A high quality contribution from criminology on the normality of illegal drug use, or 'deviant leisure' in the life-course of older adults, this book asks some penetrating questions of legislators and all those who support the politically selective and often absurd 'war on drugs'. Why penalise something that, in its meaning in context, is like walking the dog? Moxon and Waters adds to the growing lobby for the decriminalisation of cannabis in the UK whilst more harmful drugs such as alcohol and caffeine are freely available'. Professor Colin Sumner, Programme Director, BA Criminology, Head of School of Sociology and Philosophy, UCC, Ireland