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Qualitative Methods Review, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 344

Essay

The authors of this study presented a 33-year long analysis to examine the long-term patterns of heroin users.  Much of the study was spent analyzing the main impacts of heroin use over the course of an individual’s life.  The researchers interviewed 581 initial heroin addicts that were all males and had been admitted to the California Civil Addict Program between 1962-1964.  Over the course of the last 33 years, the researchers conducted two face-to-face interviews with the subjects.  However, the last attempt to follow up with the subjects showed that 284 of the initial subjects were deceased and only 242 subjects could be interviewed.  Interestingly enough, of the 242 subjects that were interviewed a striking 20.7% of the subjects tested position for heroin.  The authors ultimately concluded that if previous heroin users practiced behaviors that abstained from heroin or drug use, these individuals were less likely to experience negative effects associated with criminal behavior, death, psychological problems and were able to obtain employment at a much higher rate.

This study is quite possibly one of the best longitudinal studies that exist surrounding the topic of heroin or narcotic use.  The researchers were able to acquire a large number of subjects to follow, and each were interviewed for as long as they were willing or alive.  It was interesting to find that a large portion of these users continued to use heroin over the 33-year span of time.  The results were valid and showed that there are very few predictive features that exist to determine whether or not a previous drug user will continue to use over such a long period of time.  Many of the specific interview questions were not mentioned in the article, but the study’s statistics provided results of the subjects’ tests for heroin or other drug substances.  Therefore, it is difficult to determine the quality of the interviews that were conducted, but the long-term observations are highly beneficial.

Works Cited

Hser, Yih-Ing, Valerie Hoffman, Christine E. Grella, and M. Douglas Anglin. “A 33-year Follow-up of Narcotics Addicts.” Archives of General Psychiatry 58 (2001): 503-08.

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