Non-medical use of prescription opioids, such as tramadol, is a major global health concern. In Sweden, tramadol use among young people is widely recognized and highlighted as a novel drug use pattern. The overall aim of this licentiate thesis is to explore drug use trajectories and the process of attempting to quit drugs among young people with experiences of problematic tramadol use. 24 qualitative interviews were conducted with 13 young people (aged 19–24) with self-reported experiences of problematic tramadol use.
Paper 1 explores the drug use trajectories of the young people, including changes in drug use patterns and motivations for their use of tramadol and other drugs. The results indicate that most of the young people quickly started to use tramadol regularly and eventually expanded their drug use repertoire to include more substances. Overall, there was a progression to more severe drug use over time, where self-medication and experiences of dependence, as well as peer influence and other environmental factors playing significant roles.
Paper 2 addresses the young people’s accounts of attempting to quit tramadol and other drugs. The results demonstrate conflicting emotions towards drug use along with a significant external pressure to quit, but also difficulties in quitting due to experiences of dependence and mental health issues. For most participants, however, an increasing autonomous will and ability to abstain from drugs gradually developed, with the support from trusted relationships playing a crucial role.
The study demonstrates how aspects related to the drugs’ effects, personal circumstances, and the social environment interact in young people’s drug use trajectories, as well as in their process of attempting to quit drugs. By highlighting the young people’s perspective, the study can contribute to a deeper understanding of problematic tramadol use that may be helpful in improving both preventive and therapeutic measures for this target group.
|Translated title of the contribution
|Young people and tramadol: Stories of drug use trajectories and attempts to quit the drug
- Svensson, Kerstin, Supervisor
- Johnson, Björn, Assistant supervisor
|2023 Oct 20
|Place of Publication
|Published - 2023 Sept
Place: G:a köket 128, Allhelgona kyrkogata 8, Lund
Name: Samuelsson, Eva
Affiliation: Stockholms universitet