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Researching sexuality and drug addiction

Gabriele Di Francesco

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The paper presents the methodological and technical aspects of a research project that set out to explore the relationship between sexuality and drugs addiction, with the twofold aim of a better focusing of the phenomenon which is hidden and difficult to read and at preparing appropriate strategies for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. The survey was carried out in the border area between the Italian regions Marche and Abruzzo, which is identified as the “pole of sex” [Ricci S., 1998:23] and where there are high rates of drug addiction. The survey involved the population of prostitutes, transvestites and transsexual who regularly attend the road called “Bonifica del Tronto”, between the provinces of Ascoli Piceno and Teramo and who are regular users of drugs (heroin, cocaine and others). It is a marginal population with various ethnic backgrounds, coming from Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America, which now has a quite stable settlement in this area and is perceived almost as a “subculture of sex”. The majority of the subjects recruited for the research are users of the local Services for drugs addiction. This made the initial contact and recruitment less difficult as it was done through the mediation of the Service operators. The research adopted a qualitative methodological approach and has been carried out through individual interviews – mostly in the headquarters of the Services.


Bibliography: Di Francesco, Gabriele: Researching sexuality and drug addiction, INSEP, Vol. 3, Issue 1-2015, pp. 80-95.