Navigating Custodial Environments: Novel Psychoactive Substance Users Experiences of Stigma

Kelly Stockdale*, Michelle Addison, Georgia Ramm

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter explores the everyday experiences of people who use substances in different custodial settings: a busy city centre police custody suite and a Category C prison. We discuss the stigma associated with substance use, particularly the way Novel Psychoactive Substance (NPS) use is recognised, understood, and managed by staff. We explore the mechanisms of stigma within custodial settings and argue that the stigma attached to NPS use is particularly wounding in the current social context because (i) people who use NPS tend to be already highly vulnerable, experiencing marginalisation, minoritisation and multiple co-occurring stressors, (ii) NPS is perceived as a low-status drug, located at the bottom of a moral economy of drug use (Wakeman in Critical Criminology 24:363–377, 2006).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDrugs, Identity and Stigma
EditorsMichelle Addison, William McGovern, Ruth McGovern
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)1st
ISBN (Print)9783030982850
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2022


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