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This book provides a sociological examination of youngpeople’s pathways into, and out of, substance abuse.Drawingfrom in-depth, life-history interviews with over sixty young people who haveexperienced problematic drug use, the author uses participants’ narratives tothrow light on the relationship between trauma and issues such as homelessness,crime and self-injury.
Contesting the view thatsubstance abuse is either a medical issue or individual failing, the bookexamines the wide variety of factors which lead to youth substance abuse suchas extreme poverty and other structural factors. Whilst it does not overlookindividual agency, the rich descriptions from young people's oral historiesshows us that they were making choices, but the contexts in which they wereexercising agency was considerably constrained by significant structuralforces. The sociological concept of 'situated choice', which is used to explainand understand how people make choices within their individual context, is usedthroughout the book as we witness young people wrestling to escapeintergenerational disadvantage.
The book will be of interest to scholars and students of Social Work, Social Policy, Youth Studies, Sociology and Health Studies.