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  • 6_FINAL_Moore_Matias

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Targeted population surveys on drug use in recreational settings across Europe

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Abstract

In this chapter, we focus on in situ targeted population surveys (TPS) of drug use in recreational settings across Europe. Such surveys feed into European Union (EU) drug monitoring systems aimed at drug prevention and harm reduction. Specifically, we explore how TPS shape knowledge production about drug use. To do this, we situate TPS research within contemporary drug use trends, such as the emergence of new psychoactive substances (NPS) and darknet markets for pharmaceutical medications. We also use critical drug studies and sociological work on leisure spaces and times to explore how ‘recreational settings’ are understood within this research literature. From there, we argue that specific drugs, drug-using populations, and recreational settings dominate investigations, while others are largely ignored. To counter this, we suggest a critical, reflexive approach to processes of definition and conceptualisation by in situ TPS, including recreational setting inclusion/exclusion processes.

Keywords: recreational settings, in situ targeted population surveys, leisure spaces/times, knowledge production, European drug research.