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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 202392 Find in a Library
Title: Self-reported Drug Use: How Prevalent is Under-reporting?
Author(s): Klah McGregor; Toni Makkai
Corporate Author: Australian Institute of Criminology
Date Published: June 2003
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Sale Source: Australian Institute of Criminology
GPO Box 2944
Canberra ACT, 2601,
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This paper examines the extent of underreporting drug use by individuals participating in the Drug Use Monitoring in Australia (DUMA) program focusing on the use of heroin, cocaine, and methamphetiamine.
Abstract: Most current information available on the prevalence of illicit drug use in Australia relies on users accurately self-reporting their use. However, little work has been done on the validity of self-reported drug use. Using data collected during interviews conducted for the Drug Use Monitoring in Australia (DUMA) program, this paper examines self-reported drug use among a sample of police detainees and compares the information with results of urinalysis testing. The paper focuses on the use of opiates, amphetamines, and cocaine. Among all adult detainees who provided a usable sample there was a high total concordance rate between self-reported illicit drug use during the past 2 to 3 days. The pattern emerging for detainees who used drugs recently and were more likely to underreport their use included: (1) living in their own home; (2) employed full-time; (3) over the age of 30; (4) had not reported a drug dependence in the past 12 months; and (5) had not self-reported being engaged in the drug market in the past 30 days. The pattern emerging for detainees who used drugs recently and were more likely to accurately report their use included: (1) having been detained for a property offense; (2) having had prior contact with the criminal justice system over the past year; (3) self-reported being on drugs at time of arrest; (4) self-reported being engaged in the drug market in the past 30 days; (5) self-reported being drug dependent in the past 12 months; and (6) self-reported being in drug or alcohol treatment during their lifetime. References
Main Term(s): Drug use
Index Term(s): Australia; Drug abuse; Drug dependence; Drug testing; Urinalysis
Note: Australian Institute of Criminology Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, No. 260. Downloaded on September 30, 2003.
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