The impact of the Celtic Tiger and Great Recession on drug consumption

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Windle, James
Cambridge, Graham
Leonard, James
Lynch, Orla
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Emerald Publishing
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Purpose: This paper aims to explore how the Celtic Tiger economic boom and Great Recession influenced drug and alcohol use in one Irish city. Design/methodology/approach: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 48 people, living in Cork City, who had previously used drugs and/or alcohol problematically. All participants had engaged with services for their problematic use and had at least one year of abstinence at time of interview. Findings: Some participants reported that their drug and/or alcohol consumption increased during the economic boom; others, who were already in (self-defined) active addiction, reported how full employment lessened some of the harms of their problematic use. For others, problematic use struck once the economy entered a downturn and, heavy drink and drug use became a means of soothing the strains of economic recession. Originality/value: The paper provides two key contributions. Methodologically, it demonstrates how large-scale national quantitative data can mask local idiosyncratic tendencies, suggesting the need for mixed-method approaches for understanding drug market trends. The paper also provides insights into the impact of global and local economic conditions on drug and alcohol consumption in Ireland.
Addiction , Alcohol , Celtic Tiger , Drug consumption , Great Recession , Insider-researcher , Ireland
Windle, J., Cambridge, G., Leonard, J. and Lynch, O. (2022) 'The impact of the Celtic Tiger and Great Recession on drug consumption', Drugs, Habits and Social Policy. doi: 10.1108/DHS-05-2022-0021
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