UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Testing the validity of national drug surveys: comparison between a general population cohort and household surveys

Charles, H; Heron, J; Hickman, M; Brown, J; Hines, L; (2021) Testing the validity of national drug surveys: comparison between a general population cohort and household surveys. Addiction (add.1537) 10.1111/add.15371. Green open access

[img]
Preview
Text
add.15371.pdf - Published version

Download (415kB) | Preview

Abstract

Background and Aims There are concerns that national population‐based estimates of illicit drug use are underestimated. We investigated this by comparing estimates of illicit substance use at age 24 from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) with a birth cohort (Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, ALSPAC) and by comparing the Smoking and Alcohol Toolkit Studies (STS/ATS) to ALSPAC. Design Cross‐sectional household survey and cross‐sectional data from one wave of a longitudinal birth cohort. Setting England and Wales. Participants Young adults aged 23–25 reporting on substance use in 2017 to CSEW (n = 1165), ALSPAC (n = 3389) and STS/ATS (n = 950). Measurements Lifetime and past‐year illicit drug use, smoking status and hazardous drinking at age 24. Findings The 2017 CSEW estimate of lifetime illicit drug use was 40.6%, compared with 62.8% in ALSPAC (risk difference % [RD%] = 22.2%; 95% CI = 18.9–25.5%; P ≤ 0.001). The RD in lifetime use between ALSPAC and the CSEW was 23.2% (95% CI = 20.0–26.4%) for cannabis, 16.9% (95% CI = 14.4–19.4%) for powder cocaine and 24.8% (95% CI = 22.6–27.0%) for amphetamine. Past‐year drug use was 16.4% in CSEW, compared with 36.7% in ALSPAC (RD% = 20.3%; 95% CI = 17.6–23.0%; P ≤ 0.001). For past‐year substance use, the RD between ALSPAC and the CSEW was 15.4% (95% CI = 12.9–17.9%) for cannabis, 14.8% (95% CI = 13.0%–16.6%) for powder cocaine and 15.9% (95% CI = 14.5–17.4%) for amphetamine. Levels of current smoking were similar between STS (27.4%) and ALSPAC (29.4%). Hazardous drinking was substantially higher in ALSPAC (60.3%) than the ATS (32.1%; RD% = 28.2%; 95% CI = 24.8–31.6%; P ≤ 0.001). Conclusions The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children provides one source of validation for measurements of drug use in government household surveys and indicates that illicit drug use may be underestimated in the Crime Survey for England and Wales.

Type: Article
Title: Testing the validity of national drug surveys: comparison between a general population cohort and household surveys
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/add.15371
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/add.15371
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10119519
Downloads since deposit
6Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item