Blattler et al 2002

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  • Blattler et al. 2002
    • Aim
      • To see whether supplying heroin via a medical programme, alongside counselling, can reduce cocaine use.
    • Participants
      • 266 heroin addicts who also use cocaine
        • 168 male
        • 98 female
      • gave informed consent
      • been on heroin for at least 2 years
      • average heroin use = 10 years
      • average cocaine use = 7 years
      • mean age = 30
      • had at least 2 attempts of treatment but been unsuccessful
      • 75% preferred injecting both heroin and cocaine
      • 33% drank alcohol
      • 30% used cocaine daily
      • 23% used cannabis
      • 54% occasionally used cocaine
      • 16% were non-cocaine users at intake
    • Procedure
      • longitudinal study
        • 18 months
      • self-report data
        • questionnaires and interviews every 6 months
        • asked about sources of income, drug use, legal sex trade, and criminality
      • daily dose of heroin injected
      • HIV and hepatitis tests
      • offered counselling
      • urine consistency checker
        • every 2 months
        • see if any other drugs are in system
        • checks reliability
    • Results
      • cocaine use fell from 84% to 48%
      • daily cocaine use fell from 30% to 6%
      • non-cocaine use increased from 16% to 52%
      • illegal sources of income fell from 63% to 10%
      • positive correlation between self-reported data and urine check
        • 0.66 at intake
        • 0.82 at 18 months
        • participants telling truth
    • Conclusion
      • high correlation suggests that self-report data isn't completely reliable
      • cocaine price during study remained stable and low - must be other factors causing drop in use
      • using heroin can reduce cocaine use
      • 48% still taking cocaine at the end - not entirely successful
    • Evaluation
      • participants not representative of wider population
      • generalisable to other cultures
        • effects of drugs are the same
      • approved by National Ethics Committee
      • study's aim was in best interests of participants
      • some believe that giving drugs is immoral
      • gender bias towards men
      • triangulation - reliable
      • may have lied on questionnaires / interviews

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