A pilot study using the internet to study patterns of party drug use: processes, findings and limitations

Authors

  • PETER G. MILLER,

    Corresponding author
    1. Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, Melbourne, Australia
      National Addiction Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, 4 Windsor Walk, London SE5 8AF, UK. Tel: +44 207 7848 0026; E-mail: P.Miller@iop.kcl.ac.uk
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    • 2

      Peter G. Miller PhD, and Senior Research Fellow, Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, Melbourne, Australia

  • JENNIFER JOHNSTON,

    1. Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, Melbourne, Australia
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    • 3

      Jennifer Johnston PhD, Research Fellow, Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, Melbourne, Australia

  • PAUL R. McELWEE,

    1. Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, Melbourne, Australia
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    • 4

      Paul R. McElwee B.Inf.Tech, Research Fellow, Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, Melbourne, Australia

  • RICK NOBLE

    1. Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, Melbourne, Australia
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    • 5

      Rick Noble IT manager, Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, Melbourne, Australia.


National Addiction Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, 4 Windsor Walk, London SE5 8AF, UK. Tel: +44 207 7848 0026; E-mail: P.Miller@iop.kcl.ac.uk

Abstract

Since the 1990s there has been a rise in both the prevalence of party drug use in Australia and the use of party drug-related websites. This study investigates whether it is feasible to recruit and survey party drug users via the internet. It took place in Victoria, Australia. Participants were directed to a website where they completed a brief, structured internet-based survey. A total of 460 responses were received over 31 days, 393 of which fitted all inclusion criteria. The sample consisted predominately of young, male polydrug users and is one of the largest samples of party drug users in Australia reported thus far. It was concluded that it is feasible to recruit and survey current party drug users via the internet and that this method is quicker and cheaper than traditional survey methods, although samples are not necessarily representative of the party drug-using population. Other limitations and advantages are discussed.

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