Johnny Connolly, Sinéad Foran, Anne Marie Donovan, Ann Marie Carew, Jean Long
1 Introduction and study design
This section outlines the background to, and rationale for, the study. The research aims and objectives, methodology and data sources are described. This section also identifies the limitations in the data sources used throughout the research.
1.1 Background and study rationale
Crack emerged as a drug of abuse in the US in the mid-1980s, causing particular harm in poor inner-city neighbourhoods (Reinarman et al. 1997). In the UK, crack cocaine has been a challenging issue for drug-treatment services and law-enforcement agencies since the mid-1990s, particularly in London (GLADA 2004a).
Given the experience of other countries, the emergence of crack cocaine in Ireland has recently become a matter of concern in terms of its potential to cause significant harm to individuals, families and communities where it becomes available.