Mobility of hard drug users: Patterns and characteristics relevant for deconcentration of facilities

Dike van de Mheen*, Agnes van der Poel, Ankie Lempens, Nicole Maalste

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Mobility is related to problematic hard drug use. It remains unclear, however, to what extent the availability of care facilities attracts drug users. The aim of the study is to gain insight into the mobility of problematic hard drug users, with particular focus on the possibilities for deconcentration of facilities. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used: a survey and in-depth interviews with problematic hard drug users. The results show that the extent of mobility is not related to specific characteristics of the target group. The most relevant concepts related to possible deconcentration/displacement of problematic drug users are the nature of mobility and visibility of the users. A high level of mobility does not necessarily lead to more visibility and nuisance. Having a structured daily pattern (housing and/or working) largely determines visibility. More purposeful movement of drug users is associated with a lower level of visibility and nuisance. Mobility of users is strongly determined by the need to buy drugs. Low-threshold facilities are not a trigger for mobility as such, and need to be located near places where drug users stay and/or close to well-known dealing areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-199
JournalJournal of Psychoactive Drugs
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • care facilities
  • hard drugs
  • mobility
  • use patterns


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