Risk, welfare and the treatment of adolescent cannabis users in England

Article English OPEN
Flacks, Simon (2014)

Incorporating analysis of data collected from a small sample of interviews within drug-treatment settings, the aim of this article is to critically consider the purpose and scope of adolescent drug treatment with a particular focus on the drugs–crime nexus. A central question is whether treatment can be understood according to the ‘rise of risk’ in advanced liberal democracies, and whether this corresponds to the proposed rupture with ‘welfarist’ approaches to youth justice policy. The findings suggest, in line with other research, that any such rupture may have been overstated. They also suggest that some drug-treatment research has tended towards sweeping accounts of policy changes, when the specificities of age, drug type and history demand more nuanced explanation, as some authors have already argued. Finally, the analysis suggests there should be concern about the extent of ‘net-widening’ within the youth drug-treatment system.
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