Blatter et al (2002)

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  • Blatter et al (2002)
    • AIM
      • To investigate whether supplying heroin on a medical programme, combined with therapy would reduce cocaine use among participants.
      • To investigate what factors were linked to cocaine use in multiple-drug users
    • Procedure
      • 226 addicts
        • 97 females and 168 males all had two previous attempts to give up drugs,
        • All has been averagely using heroin for 10 years and cocaine for 7
        • Their average age was 30
      • Information gathered at the start of the experiment found
        • Positive relationship between cocaine use and earning money for illegal sources in previous months
        • Positive relationship of cocaine use and contact with drug scene and likely hood of working in the sex industry
      • During the experiment
        • The participants lived and worked normally, whilst the program prescribed drugs (which where measured recorded) with social and mental support and therapeutic counselling.
        • The drugs continued to be prescribed if the users followed rules- not mix or sell drugs
        • Attendance of counselling was also compulsory but there was no penalty for use of other drugs which weren't mixed
        • Participants were interviewed at the start and then 6 monthly intervals during the 18th month study, which were carried out by independent interviews
        • The interview consisted of standard questions to test for mental health and level of addiction
        • There was also self report data into which the addicts were asked how they had felt for the past 30 days. the same set of questions were used every interview
        • The drug usage was cross checked by urine tests every two months
    • Results
      • Daily cocaine users down 80% and the number of non-users trebled to 106
      • 15 participants had started or increased their drug use
      • The participants who used cocaine daily injected a mixture of cocaine and herion
      • The daily cocaine users still had contact with the drug scene therefore the most associated factors continued e.g. sex trade
      • Correlation between self report data and urine tests increased: +0.66 at the start and +0.82 at the end
      • The number working in the sex trade reduced from 84 to 7 over the course of the study
      • This also happened with illegal income, from 63% to 10%
    • Conclusions
      • Self report data wasn't completely reliable
      • Participants became more honest as correlation between self report data and urine test
      • Cocaine use dropped and those who were still users were involved in illegal scenes
      • The price of cocaine stayed low therefore other factors were responsible for the decrease in use
      • High number of participants continued to attend the clinic due to fee drugs but this helped them as counselling was compulsory
      • Results not representative  of the general population as they were drug users with a variety of psychiatric problem

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