The growing use of prescription drugs is a global health concern. A “pill-popping culture”, where many life issues are seen as problems that can be treated with medication, is becoming more common worldwide. Simultaneously, there are increasing concerns about the nonmedical use of prescription drugs (NMUPD) such as sedatives, opi-oid-based pain relief medication and prescription stimu-lants. Nevertheless, this trend has received limited atten-tion in scientific research in Belgium, and in Europe more broadly.
The YOUTH-PUMED study described in this book aims at a better understanding of this phenomenon among young adults, and of their perceptions about their own nonmedical use of prescription drugs and associated harms.
This book shows that the young adults were using one or more psychoactive medication (sedatives, analgesics or stimulants) in different contexts, and their use patterns and motives for use varied. It ends with helpful insights to prevent and reduce NMUPD.
Frédérique Bawin is a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute for Social Drug research at Ghent University. She has a PhD in Criminology. Her research interests include the use of illicit drugs and the nonmedical use of psychoactive medicines.
Kevin Emplit obtained a bachelor’s degree in Psychological and Pedagogical Sciences and a master’s degree in Criminology at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. During his studies, these two fields of knowledge sparked off a growing interest for clinical criminology. Topics related to addiction are, for him, an important area of research in an effort of understanding and to reduce associated health risks.
Julie Tieberghien is a lecturer and a researcher in the department of Applied Social Studies at VIVES University College. She has an PhD in Criminology and her expertise and main interests focus on drug use and policy, crisis and disaster management, and local governance of societal security.
Ellen Vandenbogaerde is researcher and lecturer in the department of Applied Social Studies at VIVES University College. She has an MA in Criminology and PhD in Development Studies and is currently involved in a number of applied research projects focussing on societal security and liveability.
Mafalda Pardal, PhD, is a postdoctoral research fellow (FWO – Research Foundation Flanders) and Assistant Professor in Criminology at Ghent University. She has also been a visiting researcher at the Universidad Católica del Uruguay. Her research interests include the study of illicit markets and drug policies, and in recent years she has studied in-depth the phenomenon of Cannabis Social Clubs in several jurisdictions.
Christine Guillain is Professor at University Saint-Louis – Brussels where she teaches criminal law and directs the GREPEC (Groupe de recherche en matière pénale et criminelle). She is the author of numerous contributions on criminal policy in the field of drugs.
Tom Decorte is Professor of Criminology and director of the Institute for Social Drug research (ISD) at Ghent University. His research interests include patterns of substance use, on the supply side of cannabis markets, and on the implementation of local drug monitoring systems. He has been advisor to a range of organizations on policies to improve public health relating to the use of drugs around the world.