Young people using crack and the process of marginalization

A Van der Poel*, D Van de Mheen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Thirty current and former crack users aged 16-24 years participated in a qualitative study about their crack use and related behaviours. The study investigates the process of marginalization (social relations, sources of income and health situation) before and after the start of crack use. Results show that because many crack users were raised in a problematic home situation and have little education, they were already in a marginal position before they started using crack. However, the use of crack accelerated the process of marginalization, because they experienced a shrinking social network that developed around other users, and because they performed illegal activities to buy crack. As result, many users spent time in prison. Regarding health, they experienced respiratory problems, deteriorating physical fitness, paranoia and heart palpitations. Furthermore, homelessness and crack use are intertwined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-59
JournalDrugs-Education, Prevention and Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes




Dive into the research topics of 'Young people using crack and the process of marginalization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this