‘It’s What Happens Now When People Go for a Drink’: Normalising Non-dependent Recreational Cocaine Use Amongst Over-35s in the UK

Craig Ancrum*, Steph Scott, Louise Wattis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Citations (Scopus)


Powder Cocaine is the drug of choice for many millennials (aged 25–40) and older, rising in purity and availability in recent years. This chapter explores lived experience of non-dependent recreational drug use (NDRDU) among ‘older’ people who use drugs in North East England. For older people in this study, a lack of self-stigma about powder cocaine led to continued, routinised or normalised recreational use, and participants subverted stigma by keeping within peer groups who they take drugs with, also avoiding condemnation and disapproval. Research focusing on recreational drug use continues to be pre-occupied with the experiences of ‘young people’. Our work illustrates that there is a need for future qualitative research which explores NDRDU (and drug use spaces) across different gender, age and socio-economic boundaries.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDrugs, Identity and Stigma
EditorsMichelle Addison, William McGovern, Ruth McGovern
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9783030982867
ISBN (Print)9783030982850, 9783030982881
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2022

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