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NCJ Number: 160831 Find in a Library
Title: Use of Official Data in Measuring Patterns of Drug Use in the Community: Merits and Limitations (From Alcohol and Drugs Research and Policy, P 95-109, 1990, Martin Plant, Cees Goos, et. al., eds. -- See NCJ-160822)
Author(s): M Choquet; S Ledoux
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Edinburgh University Press
Edinburgh, Scotland
Sale Source: Edinburgh University Press
22 George Square
United Kingdom
Type: Test/Measurement
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This review discusses the various indirect indicators of drug use and misuse and assesses their value, availability, reliability, validity, and relevance.
Abstract: An overview of indirect statistics related to drug use in the community addresses mortality data, morbidity data, prescription and retail pharmacy data, police and court statistics, and economic statistics. A review of direct statistics on drug consumption in the community focuses on household surveys concerning expenditure and population surveys of personal consumption rates. Each indicator identified relates to only one aspect of drug use or misuse. Production and sales data and retail pharmacists and prescription data are indicators of the availability of licit drugs; mortality data, hospital statistics, and outpatient clinic statistics are the medical indicators of problematic drug use. Several indicators, therefore, must be considered in conjunction in order to assess drug use and misuse rates with any degree of rigor. Official records rarely produce a sample of people representative of all users. Different data become valuable when they are collected over a number of years and may indicate and reflect trends over a long period. This review shows that the validity of data largely depends on the stability of the monitoring system, on the attitudes of experts and drug users in terms of social and medical care provided, and on the social, legal, and medical policies for tackling drug problems. 17 references
Main Term(s): Drug use
Index Term(s): Alcoholic beverage consumption; Data collections
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