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Title: An analysis of illicit drug use in the UK
Author: MacDonald, Ziggy
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2001
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The subject of this thesis is illicit drug use in the UK. Given the wide-ranging implications of illicit drug consumption, it is surprising that the UK government collects very little national data to monitor drug use, and this is despite making a commitment to reducing consumption (and its consequence) in its Ten-Year Drugs Strategy (Home Office, 1998). This is the main concern of this concern of this thesis. In particular, the aim is to explore the nature of the currently available UK data on illicit drug use and the extent to which it can be used to address a number of policy concerns. The analysis presented in this thesis is unique in the UK context, as it would appear to be the first to have considered illicit drug use from an economics perspective using UK data. The conclusions emanating from this analysis have implications for public policy and, perhaps more importantly, for the generation of information required to support policy formation. However, in reviewing the current literature one conclusion of the thesis is that policy makers and drug researchers do not appear to have fully recognised the important role for economic analysis in their work, and there is generally a lack of appreciation of the role of detailed price information in studying the demand for illicit drugs. Beyond this, issues of inadequate data provision have been explored in this thesis and improvements to current information provision suggested, and in part acted upon by the Home Office. The thesis has shown that the British Crime Survey (BCS) questions only allow us to observe a limited number of drug use states, despite this survey being the main source of national drug misuse information in the UK. In considering the inadequacies of the current data, one conclusion of this thesis is that a modest redesign of the questionnaire would overcome the inherent observational problem arising from the current design at little extra cost to survey administration.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available