Stories about the use of drugs and those involved in this milieu have become a popular topic of interest across the globe, captivating the imagination of the public who consumes them through a multitude of media outlets. Nevertheless, these stories do not portray a realistic picture of this ever-evolving industry and of the individuals it affects, particularly those who are suffering from addiction. This superficial and inadequate portrayal creates a fundamental lack of awareness and understanding of the issues affecting these marginalised groups, which in turn promotes stigma, negative perceptions and fear.
Based on empirical research, this independent study aims to provide a more realistic insight into the use of drugs and its effects by focusing on the issue of Spice in the City of Lincoln. Using primary research methods and collecting data from semi-structured life story interviews with six research participants, this study has found that Spice is not the problem per se, but is instead used as a coping mechanism by vulnerable people to escape the desperate social and personal circumstances they find themselves in. These circumstances are linked to wider socio-economic inequalities, such as homelessness and unemployment, as well as personal experiences of trauma and abuse which can be near impossible to address without the support of positive social networks and the wider community.
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