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The Use of Self-Report and Drugs Tests in the Measurement of Illicit Drug Consumpiton

By MacDonald Ziggy and Stephen Pudney


We use data from the New England and Wales Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (NEW-ADAM) programme to assess the validity of self-report measures of illicit drug use and to evaluate the use of alternative drug testing strategies within survey enquiries. Our analysis of the NEW-ADAM data reveals that bio-assay measurements of drug use tend not to be very sensitive to the cut-off levels selected for screening tests, a result that holds for cannabis, cocaine and opiates. We also show that a self-reported history of previous drug use can be used as a way of identifying individuals who are potential under-reporters of current drug use. This suggests a selective drug testing strategy which can reduce dramatically the cost of drug testing without comprising the accuracy of measurements of illicit drug use

Topics: Drugs testing, Concordance, Self-reports, Testing Strategies
Publisher: Dept. of Economics, University of Leicester
Year: 2003
OAI identifier:

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