Drugwatch: Establishing the Practicality and Feasibility of Using Key Professionals and Illicit Drug Users to Identify Emerging Drug Tendencies

  • Mark Mason Oxford Brookes University
  • Oswin Baker Market and Opinion Research International
  • Rebecca Hardy Market and Opinion Research International
Keywords: drug trends, early warning systems, monitoring, key individuals, drug use

Abstract

The updated United Kingdom Anti-Drugs strategy highlights gaps in the current body of drug related knowledge. Although work has been addressing these gaps for a number of years now, it has proven challenging to establish the dynamics of emerging drug tendencies within local areas. Some work of this nature has been carried out within the UK, but these studies have been beset by problems. With this in mind the Drugs Analysis and Research Programme and Market and Opinion Research International (MORI) embarked on developmental work to assess whether a national project, involving progressive sweeps of interviews with key professionals and drug users, in ten areas of England and Wales, would help fill these gaps still further. Findings suggested that the overall process worked very well. Not only did the project prove feasible, but interviews were felt to have produced real time, policy relevant information. However, it was felt that the project was often resource hungry. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs070393

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Author Biographies

Mark Mason, Oxford Brookes University
Mark MASON has spent more than ten years in public sector environments carrying out, commissioning, managing and disseminating research. Working closely with policy makers and a range of stakeholders, his work has involved a wide range of clients in a number of areas. This has contributed to giving Mark a very wide base in managing and carrying out practical research issues. He has expertise in, and has previously published work in the areas of domestic violence, community safety and illicit drugs (especially drug markets, and drug supply and trafficking).
Oswin Baker, Market and Opinion Research International
Oswin BAKER is an Associate Director in MORI's Social Research Institute and has spent the last decade writing about social exclusion and researching hard-to-reach groups. He has previously worked at the Institute for the Study of Drug Dependence (now Drugscope) where he researched the drug-crime link, and as a consultant specialising in community consultation. Oswin has written extensively about drugs and social exclusion.
Rebecca Hardy, Market and Opinion Research International
Rebecca HARDY worked in the Communities department of the Home Office before joining MORI. In both posts she has worked on community consultation issues, ethnic diversity and citizenship issues and published in all areas.
Published
2007-09-30
Section
Single Contributions