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issn:1455-0.25
1.  Embarking on large-scale qualitative research: reaping the benefits of mixed methods in studying youth, clubs and drugs 
Qualitative research is often conceptualized as inherently small-scale research, primarily conducted by a lone researcher enmeshed in extensive and long-term fieldwork or involving in-depth interviews with a small sample of 20 to 30 participants. In the study of illicit drugs, traditionally this has often been in the form of ethnographies of drug-using subcultures. Such small-scale projects have produced important interpretive scholarship that focuses on the culture and meaning of drug use in situated, embodied contexts. Larger-scale projects are often assumed to be solely the domain of quantitative researchers, using formalistic survey methods and descriptive or explanatory models.
In this paper, however, we will discuss qualitative research done on a comparatively larger scale—with in-depth qualitative interviews with hundreds of young drug users. Although this work incorporates some quantitative elements into the design, data collection, and analysis, the qualitative dimension and approach has nevertheless remained central. Larger-scale qualitative research shares some of the challenges and promises of smaller-scale qualitative work including understanding drug consumption from an emic perspective, locating hard-to-reach populations, developing rapport with respondents, generating thick descriptions and a rich analysis, and examining the wider socio-cultural context as a central feature. However, there are additional challenges specific to the scale of qualitative research, which include data management, data overload and problems of handling large-scale data sets, time constraints in coding and analyzing data, and personnel issues including training, organizing and mentoring large research teams. Yet large samples can prove to be essential for enabling researchers to conduct comparative research, whether that be cross-national research within a wider European perspective undertaken by different teams or cross-cultural research looking at internal divisions and differences within diverse communities and cultures.
doi:10.2478/v10199-011-0040-1
PMCID: PMC3270937  PMID: 22308079
2.  Addiction treatment ultimatums and U.S. health reform: A case study 
AIMS
Increased access to health care, including addiction treatment, has long been a goal of health reform in the U.S. An unanswered question is whether reform will change the way people get to addiction treatment; when treatment is easily accessible, do individuals self-refer, or do they still enter treatment via ultimatums, and if so, from which sources? To begin examining this, we used a single case study of a U.S. health plan that provides access similar to that called for in health reform.
METHOD
Using a case study method of data from studies conducted in a large, private non-profit, integrated managed care health plan which includes addiction services, we examined the prevalence and source of ultimatums to enter treatment, and the characteristics of those receiving them. The plan is highly representative of changes to U.S. health care and other countries due to health reform.
RESULTS
Many individuals entering addiction treatment had received an ultimatum stemming from employment, legal, medical, and family sources. Having more employment problems, an occupation with public safety concerns, being older, male, and ethnicity predicted an employment ultimatum. Higher legal problem severity predicted a legal ultimatum. More men (and younger people) had family ultimatums, and more women (and older people) had medical ultimatums. Being younger, male, married, having higher employment and family problem severity, and being drug or combined drug/alcohol dependent rather than dependent on alcohol-only predicted an ultimatum from one’s family. On the whole, an ultimatum from one source was not related to having one from another source. Those most likely to receive ultimatums from multiple sources were women, those separated/divorced, and those having higher psychiatric and legal problem severity.
CONCLUSIONS
Even in an insured population with good access to addiction treatment, individuals often receive ultimatums to enter treatment rather than being self-referred. Understanding the treatment entry process, and how it is affected by health care systems, could benefit from international and other comparative research.
PMCID: PMC3225963  PMID: 22135620
alcohol and drug treatment systems; treatment entry; coercion
3.  Changes in private alcohol importation after alcohol tax reductions and import allowance increases in Denmark 
AIMS
This paper examines changes in alcohol import in Denmark between 2003 and 2006, after the excise tax on spirits in Denmark was lowered by 45% on October 1, 2003 and travellers’ allowances for alcohol import were increased on January1, 2004. Additionally, the paper seeks to develop a profile of alcohol importers and analyse the relation between the distance to the German border and import behaviour, as Germany is the main alcohol import country for Denmark.
DATA
Cross-sectional and panel data from Denmark, from 2003 to 2006, were analyzed. Samples were collected by telephone interviews, using random digit dialing.
RESULTS
While the percentage of people who imported alcohol fell over time, the amount of alcohol purchased rose for those who did import. Distance to the German border was inversely related to the likelihood of importing and the level of imported amounts. Heavy drinkers and those with higher incomes were more likely to import, and heavy drinkers imported higher amounts than moderate drinkers or abstainers.
CONCLUSION
Distance of residence from the German border, socio-economic status and drinking behaviour are related to private alcohol import in Denmark. Policy changes resulted in a shift to fewer people importing higher amounts of alcohol so that the overall import level did not change substantially.
PMCID: PMC3083855  PMID: 21532978
alcohol import; alcohol policy; Denmark

Results 1-3 (3)