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Drug and crime - Essay Example

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Individuals and communities that deal with drugs consist one of the major groups of hidden population. Doing research on these communities can…
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Drug and crime
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Download file to see previous pages These individuals consider as normal vices what their counterparts in the normal society consider as abomination. After locating them and doing the study, it is impossible for a researcher to know if the data from the sample is representative of all the parameters of the population. This is because the official numbers of the people in the drug related issues is unknown (Tanneeru 2011).
There are various methods of collecting data related to drug manufacture, distribution, usage and abuse activity as explained by Coomber (1997). First, the researcher may collect data from official records e.g. police reports and treatment records. However, these data sources have their limitations, mostly due to the tendency of the hidden population to keep matters to themselves. For instance, they do not report criminal activity or conflicts among members and, therefore, data collected from police reports do not reflect the real situation, only accounting for few of the cases of drug use and drug related crimes. One outstanding characteristic of the data from police and that collected from treatment records is that the information only covers drug use cases that cause disruption of normal social function and not mild or non-chronic drug users. In addition, collecting treatment data may compromise the profession and ethical codes that ensure patient-doctor confidentiality.
Another source of data on drug use is surveys and questionnaires, where researchers find the sample of interest and administer questionnaires among other primary data collection measures. This method has the advantage of the possibility of many people participating in the study, though it is also tedious and time-consuming. Since most drug users keep a low profile and hardly participate in public life, it is difficult to identify and impossible to know the total number of drug users. Therefore, data collected this way may not be representative of the drug-using population since researchers ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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