Head Shops : a study of knowledge and opinion on Head Shops and legal highs in Ireland

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Killeen, Nicola
Issue Date
BA (Hons) in Social Science
Dublin Business School
Context: Recent media attention illustrated Head Shops creating a senseless milestone in drug culture in Ireland. The public can purchase powerful Legal Highs without interference or sanction within society. Popularity by the public proved their disregard for public health warnings against Legal Highs. It is the aim of this study to illustrate public knowledge and opinion on these new phenomena’s. It will do so by discovering which categories in society are largely knowledgeable and tolerant towards Head Shops. METHOD: A quantitative survey design was used. Data was collected from 200 participants aged between 17 and 53. Participants were divided into separate age and gender groupings. RESULTS: Younger participants show less tolerance towards Head Shops with 73% showing they regard Head Shops are bad for society compared to 63% of older participants. Men illustrate most acquaintance with figures showing 71% know someone who has used Head Shops compared to just 48% of women. CONCLUSION: Overall the public view Head Shops are harmful for society and will make the Irish drug problem worse. An older age sample and men show a more liberal outlook with younger participants and women viewing Head Shops in a more destructive position in society.