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Situating Vulnerability and Exploitation in Street-Level Drug Markets: Cuckooing, Commuting, and the “County Lines” Drug Supply Model

Situating Vulnerability and Exploitation in Street-Level Drug Markets: Cuckooing, Commuting, and... The emergence of “county lines” drug dealing, a supply model which sees drug dealers travel from urban hubs to provincial locations to retail heroin and crack cocaine, is now established in the United Kingdom. This market trend has been associated with novel and evolving distribution practices, yet arguably most problematic is its reliance on forms of exploitative labor undertaken by vulnerable populations. Drawing principally on interviews with local drug-involved adults, this article is the first to undertake in-depth analysis of their experience of risky street-level labor in “host” towns. Findings suggest that despite violence and intimidation, many saw county lines labor as preferable to other income generating activity, and contrary to popular enforcement narratives, they often became involved though constrained choice. As such, it is argued that the policy response might resemble one of building resilience through multiagency support, which better equips “structurally vulnerable” populations to exit exploitative relationships. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Drug Issues SAGE

Situating Vulnerability and Exploitation in Street-Level Drug Markets: Cuckooing, Commuting, and the “County Lines” Drug Supply Model

Journal of Drug Issues , Volume 49 (4): 17 – Oct 1, 2019

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References (33)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2019
ISSN
0022-0426
eISSN
1945-1369
DOI
10.1177/0022042619861938
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The emergence of “county lines” drug dealing, a supply model which sees drug dealers travel from urban hubs to provincial locations to retail heroin and crack cocaine, is now established in the United Kingdom. This market trend has been associated with novel and evolving distribution practices, yet arguably most problematic is its reliance on forms of exploitative labor undertaken by vulnerable populations. Drawing principally on interviews with local drug-involved adults, this article is the first to undertake in-depth analysis of their experience of risky street-level labor in “host” towns. Findings suggest that despite violence and intimidation, many saw county lines labor as preferable to other income generating activity, and contrary to popular enforcement narratives, they often became involved though constrained choice. As such, it is argued that the policy response might resemble one of building resilience through multiagency support, which better equips “structurally vulnerable” populations to exit exploitative relationships.

Journal

Journal of Drug IssuesSAGE

Published: Oct 1, 2019

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