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Crack and cocaine use among female prostitutes in Glasgow: Risky business

Journal Article


Abstract


  • The experience of cocaine and 'crack' use among participants involved in (n = 19) or exiting (n = 10) prostitution in Glasgow, Scotland, is described. In-depth semi-structured qualitative interviews enquired about their use and experience of using cocaine and their perception of its effect on working practice. Twenty-three of 29 participants had used cocaine and 15 out of 29 had used crack cocaine. In reality, freebase not 'crack' was being self-manufactured from cocaine powder. Participants considered that cocaine use in the city was not restricted to prostitution but was reflected throughout the drug scene generally. One possible reason suggested for this was a perceived reduction in heroin availability at a time when cocaine was increasingly readily available. There was no evidence from participants to suggest that they were first introduced to cocaine through prostitution. Most participants believed that using cocaine did not affect how they worked, however they perceived that other prostitutes were prepared to take more risks to support their cocaine use and had to work longer hours to finance a cocaine habit compared to financing a heroin habit. Only participants recruited from the east end of the city spoke about their desperation for money and the sexual risks that they were prepared to take to buy cocaine. Harm-reduction messages should address the sexual and personal risks that some female prostitutes may be taking to support their cocaine use. Treatment and support services in the city, traditionally established to work with problematic heroin users, need to adapt to the changing drug trends among female drug users, including those involved in prostitution, and offer appropriate treatment options and harm-reduction advice to cocaine users.

Publication Date


  • 2005

Citation


  • Gilchrist, G., Cameron, J., & Scoular, J. (2005). Crack and cocaine use among female prostitutes in Glasgow: Risky business. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 12(5), 381-391. doi:10.1080/09687630500231894

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-27844557408

Start Page


  • 381

End Page


  • 391

Volume


  • 12

Issue


  • 5

Place Of Publication


Abstract


  • The experience of cocaine and 'crack' use among participants involved in (n = 19) or exiting (n = 10) prostitution in Glasgow, Scotland, is described. In-depth semi-structured qualitative interviews enquired about their use and experience of using cocaine and their perception of its effect on working practice. Twenty-three of 29 participants had used cocaine and 15 out of 29 had used crack cocaine. In reality, freebase not 'crack' was being self-manufactured from cocaine powder. Participants considered that cocaine use in the city was not restricted to prostitution but was reflected throughout the drug scene generally. One possible reason suggested for this was a perceived reduction in heroin availability at a time when cocaine was increasingly readily available. There was no evidence from participants to suggest that they were first introduced to cocaine through prostitution. Most participants believed that using cocaine did not affect how they worked, however they perceived that other prostitutes were prepared to take more risks to support their cocaine use and had to work longer hours to finance a cocaine habit compared to financing a heroin habit. Only participants recruited from the east end of the city spoke about their desperation for money and the sexual risks that they were prepared to take to buy cocaine. Harm-reduction messages should address the sexual and personal risks that some female prostitutes may be taking to support their cocaine use. Treatment and support services in the city, traditionally established to work with problematic heroin users, need to adapt to the changing drug trends among female drug users, including those involved in prostitution, and offer appropriate treatment options and harm-reduction advice to cocaine users.

Publication Date


  • 2005

Citation


  • Gilchrist, G., Cameron, J., & Scoular, J. (2005). Crack and cocaine use among female prostitutes in Glasgow: Risky business. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 12(5), 381-391. doi:10.1080/09687630500231894

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-27844557408

Start Page


  • 381

End Page


  • 391

Volume


  • 12

Issue


  • 5

Place Of Publication