• Nina Tvede Korshøj
4. term, Social Work, Master (Master Programme)
Even though Danish law prohibits the purchase and sale of drugs, there has, in the last five years, been an increase in the number of people who have chosen to start in treatment because of cocaine-addiction (Sundhedsstyrelsen, 2019b). Cocaine is widespread throughout Denmark, and in 2017 it was the most common illegal drug found in the five biggest cities. It has been reported that the average purity of cocaine in Denmark is around 60 %, which is the highest level to be measured in 25 years (Sundhedsstyrelsen, 2018). In the same period, there has been an upsurge in the number of cocaine-related poisonings that required medical attention (Sundhedsstyrelsen, 2019a). Furthermore, studies show how there has also been a rise in the use of cocaine amongst young people (Pedersen, Pedersen & Gonzalez, 2020), and that cocaine is easily available on social-media platforms (Demant & Bakken, 2019) as well as through “Ring-and-bring” delivery-services (Søgaard, 2018). The technological developments mean that cocaine is easily available through our mobile devices, and deciding whether to do cocaine at a party is not something that requires planning in advance anymore; it is only a call or a text-message away from being physically in the hand of the user. 

This thesis sets out to explore what the increased accessibility and availability of cocaine through delivery-services mean for people with a problematic use of cocaine, and for substance abuse counselors in the treatment programs.

 With a philosophical hermeneutic scientific-theoretical approach, I conducted five semi-structured interviews. First, I conducted three interviews with people who have a problematic use of cocaine, and who have actively acquired their drugs from delivery-services. After examining the data, I held two interviews with substance abuse counselors to get an insight into how the increased availability affects their work, while simultaneously trying to confirm or disprove some of the patterns I found throughout my user-interviews. The analysis is conducted through an abductive method, which has allowed me to alternate between empirical observations and theoretical considerations. In order to gain a better and deeper understanding of the phenomenon, of the increased accessibility and availability of cocaine through delivery-services, I have placed the phenomenon in new theoretical contexts. Based on my professional perspective, my personal experience with addiction and my theory-based assumptions, all of which co-determine my “horizon of understanding” and my “situation”, my pre-understanding is that the increased accessibility of cocaine through delivery services makes it much more difficult for people with problematic drug use to say no and to not succumb to the urge and temptation to use.

The analysis is three-fold, and each part examines the increased accessibility in different ways. The first part focuses on the delivery-services, and the consequences it poses for the users. The second part examines how the service can pose as a high-risk situation, and how it affects the work for the counselors. In the last part, I look into whether cocaine use, in the wake of the increased availability, has been normalized and how “social exaggerations” and “majority misunderstandings” may also affect the increase seen in the number of adolescents using cocaine. Lastly, I discuss whether the increased availability and accessibility equals increased cocaine consumption.

This thesis concludes, among other things, that the increased availability and accessibility of cocaine through delivery-services means that it is harder for users to quit their problematic cocaine-use. Additionally, the occurrence of the text-messages that the sellers send out poses as high-risk situations with the potential threat of the users relapsing, since the texts can trigger the users’ dysfunctional drug-related beliefs. For the counselors, an important part of the treatment is then to articulate with the user, the risk the delivery-service poses for their treatment and to change the manner of the dysfunctional thinking and beliefs. By doing so, the user will be better suited to not act on the desire to use if confronted with cocaine in high-risk situations. Learning a new behavior and a new way of thinking thus becomes a way for users to learn to master their situation and their newfound relationship with the surroundings in a more appropriate way
Publication date1 Jun 2020
Number of pages81
ID: 333384000