Chapter 5. Qualitative Methods and Theory in Addictions Research

  1. Peter G. Miller3,
  2. John Strang4,5 and
  3. Peter M. Miller6
  1. Tim Rhodes1 and
  2. Ross Coomber2

Published Online: 16 FEB 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444318852.ch5

Addiction Research Methods

Addiction Research Methods

How to Cite

Rhodes, T. and Coomber, R. (2010) Qualitative Methods and Theory in Addictions Research, in Addiction Research Methods (eds P. G. Miller, J. Strang and P. M. Miller), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444318852.ch5

Editor Information

  1. 3

    School of Psychology, Deakin University, Victoria, Australia

  2. 4

    National Addiction Centre Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, UK

  3. 5

    South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

  4. 6

    Center for Drug and Alcohol Programs, Medical University & South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK

  2. 2

    University of Plymouth, Plymouth, Devon, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 FEB 2010
  2. Published Print: 2 APR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405176637

Online ISBN: 9781444318852



  • qualitative methods and theory in Addictions research;
  • Addictions research, on understanding drug use in relation to individual-level factors;
  • key distinction - between research paradigms, ‘positivist’ and ‘interpretivist’.;
  • interpretivism, having its roots in symbolic interactionism;
  • deduction, offering theory before observation;
  • ‘evidence-based’ policy approaches;
  • methods of ‘data generation’ - than ‘data collection’;
  • visual data in qualitative research;
  • qualitative methods - exploring social basis of drug use and addictions;
  • qualitative research on drug use and addiction


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • Theory

  • A recurring debate

  • Principles for practice

  • Data generation

  • Analysis

  • Conclusions

  • References

  • Recommended readings