Drug Prevention

Understanding and Responding to Those Bereaved Through Their Family Members’ Substance Misuse (2012-2015)
(Funded by the ESRC)

High levels of drug and alcohol related death remain an on-going problem across the UK, yet there has been very little research done to investigate the experiences and needs of those bereaved by such deaths. This three year, ESRC funded study addresses this lack of knowledge and aims to build understanding of substance related bereavement to inform the development and provision of relevant support services.

The study, which involves collaboration with the Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath, is being carried out in two stages. Phase 1 involves conducting up to 100 qualitative interviews with individuals who have lost a family member or close other to a drug or alcohol related death. Recruitment of interviewees is being conducted in two study sites: Scotland and the South West of England, with teams at Stirling and Bath responsible for respective sites. Findings from Phase 1 will be used to inform Phase 2, which will involve the development of practice guidelines for bereavement support services facilitated through a series of focus groups attended by bereaved individuals and professionals from a range of local and national, addiction and bereavement agencies, organisations and networks. The research team will produce a final version of these guidelines, which will be disseminated through relevant networks and retained for a future validation and testing stage.

New Guidelines to support people bereaved through alcohol or drugs 

ISM Staff: Linda Bauld and Jennifer McKell

Led by University of Bath 

Publications:
Templeton L, Ford A, McKell J, Valentine C, Walter T, Velleman R, Bauld L, Hay G and Hollywood J (2016). Bereavement through substance use: findings from an interview study with adults in England and Scotland. Addiction Research & Theory, 24(5): 341-354. doi:10.3109/16066359.2016.1153632 

Valentine C, Bauld L and Walter T (2016). Bereavement following substance misuse. A disenfranchised grief. Omega: Journal of Death and Dying, 72(4): 283-301. Doi:10.1177/0030222815625174

Walter T, Ford A, Templeton L, Valentine C and Velleman R (2015 Online). Compassion or stigma? How adults bereaved by alcohol or drugs experience services. Health & Social Care in the Community,  Online 28th September. doi:10.1111/hsc.12273



Evaluation of the Blueprint Drug Education Programme
(2003-2008)
(Commissioned by the Home Office. In collaboration with NatCen, the University of Edinburgh and the University of Sheffield)

ISM lead a consortium of academic researchers to evaluate Blueprint, a unique, multi-component evidence-based drug education intervention targeted at young people aged 11-13 in England and their communities. Blueprint delivered an intensive skill-based drug education intervention to young people through a 15-lesson curriculum taught in school years 7 and 8. This was supported by other components outside the school including families and parents, the media, communities and health policy over a three-year period. Blueprint aimed to create a model of best practice for future drug education for young people.

The evaluation was designed to assess the relationship between education and outcomes across all elements of the intervention. The study was conducted in 23 intervention schools and 6 control schools in four local authority areas in England. The research combined process, impact and outcome evaluation, used quantitative, qualitative and economic methods, and comprised 12 inter-related exercises:

  • Mapping of Site Characteristics
  • Lifestyle Survey (3 waves)
  • Impact Survey with Young People (2 waves)
  • Parents' Survey (1 wave)
  • Qualitative Research - young people (2 waves)
  • Qualitative Research - parents (2 waves)
  • Lesson Observation (2 waves)
  • Teacher Training Evaluation (2 waves)
  • Community Case Studies (continuous)
  • Cost Evaluation
  • Parent Component Delivery Evaluation
  • Health Policy Component Evaluation

The first results from the programme were published in 2007.

Reports are available here
ISM Staff: Martine Stead, Anne Marie MacKintosh, Douglas Eadie, Susan Anderson (left 2005) and Gerard Hastings



Effectiveness of Drug Education in Scottish Schools
(2004-2005)
(Commissioned by the Scottish Executive. In collaboration with Morag MacNeil and Robert Stradling, University of Edinburgh)

This four-phase study examined the nature and effectiveness of current drug education guidelines and practice in Scottish schools. It comprised four research exercises: (i) a literature review of existing evidence regarding the effectiveness of drug education in schools, the elements of drug education associated with greater impact, and the extent to which current guidelines and practice in Scotland are evidence-based; (ii) a survey of Scottish schools examining current drug education delivery arrangements; (iii) structured classroom observation of 100 drug education lessons in a representative sample of Scottish schools, both primary and secondary; and (iv) qualitative research with two samples, current school pupils and recent school leavers, to explore young people's engage with drug education and its perceived value to them. The study yielded important lessons and recommendations regarding future drug education practice and guidance in Scotland and will be of interest to both education policymakers and schools. The study was completed in Autumn 2005.

ISM Staff: Martine Stead, Anne Marie MacKintosh, Laura McDermott (left 2008) and Douglas Eadie

Publications:
Stead M, Stradling R, MacNeil M, MacKintosh A M, Minty S, McDermott L and Eadie D (2010). Bridging the gap between evidence and practice: A multi-perspective examination of real-world drug education.  Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 17(1): 1-20, doi: 10.3109/09687630802228341.

Stead M, MacKintosh AM, McDermott L, Eadie D, MacNeil M, Stradling R and Minty S (2007). Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Drug Education in Scottish Schools - Report (2005). Edinburgh: Scottish Executive. Report

Stead M, MacKintosh AM, McDermott L, Eadie D, MacNeil M, Stradling R and Minty S (2007). Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Drug Education in Scottish Schools - Research Findings No 17. Edinburgh: Scottish Executive. Report



Working with Children at Risk of Drug Problems: Evaluation of Projects Funded by the Partnership Drug Initiative
(2001-2005)
(Commissioned by the Scottish Executive Effective Interventions Unit and Lloyds TSB Partnership Drug Initiative. Led by the Centre for Drug Misuse Research, University of Glasgow, and in collaboration with the Scottish Centre for Social Research)

The PDI (involving Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland, Atlantic Philanthropies and the Scottish Executive) was launched in Scotland in April 2001 to support voluntary sector work targeted at three groups: children and young people in families where parents are misusing drugs, preteen children who are at high risk of developing patterns of problem substance misuse, and young people who have already developed a pattern of problem drug use. This study first examined the delivery and impact of 17 projects funded in 2001. The second stage comprised a more detailed process and outcome evaluation of four of these projects. Methods comprised qualitative interviews with project staff members and with workers in partner or referring agencies, examination of project documentation, and follow-up of a sample of young people accessing the interventions.

ISM Staff: Susan MacAskill, Douglas Eadie, Martine Stead and Gerard Hastings

Publication:
McIntosh J, MacAskill S, Eadie D, Curtice J, McKeganey N, Hastings G, Hay G and Gannon M (2006). Evaluation and description of drug projects working with young people and families funded by Lloyds TSB Foundation Partnership Drugs Initiative. Edinburgh: Scottish Executive. Report



The Development and Evaluation of NE Choices: A Multi-component Drugs Prevention Programme in Northumbria
(1996-1999)
(Commissioned by the Home Office)

Illicit drug use by adolescents in the UK is of major concern. Recent surveys suggest that increasing proportions of young people are using drugs, that the number of different drugs used has increased, and that young people are experimenting at a younger age.

The 'NE Choices' adolescent drugs prevention intervention in Northumbria, a major element of the Home Office Drugs Prevention Initiative, used an integrated mix of interpersonal, media and community activities delivered through a range of settings to prevent and reduce drug use and associated harm among young people. Approximately 5,500 young people in 26 schools were exposed to the intervention. The evaluation comprised a controlled longitudinal experimental survey with a cohort of approximately 2,000 13- 16 year olds in 10 schools, plus strategic formative research and process evaluation. In the last year of the intervention, the process evaluation adopted a case study approach to examine implementation of and response to the youth-led peer projects which formed the core of the intervention activities. Research methods included individual in-depth interviews with youth workers facilitating the projects, focus groups with young people who participated in the projects, and observation of the projects in action. Publications from the programme to date are listed below.

ISM Staff: Martine Stead, Anne Marie MacKintosh, Douglas Eadie and Gerard Hastings

Publications:
MacKintosh AM, Stead M, Eadie DR and Hastings GB (2001). NE Choices: The results of a multi-component drug prevention programme for adolescents. Home Office Drugs Prevention Advisory Service (DPAS) Paper 14. London: Home Office. ISBN 1-84082-741-6. Report

MacKintosh AM, Stead M, Eadie DR and Hastings GB (2001). NE Choices: The results of a multi-component drug prevention programme for adolescents. Home Office Drugs Prevention Advisory Service (DPAS) Briefing Paper 14. London: Home Office. Report

Stead M, MacKintosh AM, Eadie DR and Hastings GB (2000). NE Choices: The development of a multi-component drug prevention programme for adolescents. Home Office Drugs Prevention Advisory Service (DPAS) Paper 4. London: Home Office. ISBN 1-84082-514-6. Report

Stead M, MacKintosh AM, Eadie DR and Hastings GB (2000). NE Choices: The development of a multi-component drug prevention programme for adolescents. Home Office Drugs Prevention Advisory Service (DPAS) Briefing Paper 4. London: Home Office. Report

Stead M, MacKintosh AM, Eadie DR and Hastings GB (2001). Preventing adolescent drug use: The development, design and implementation of the first year of 'NE Choices'. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 8(2): 151-175.

Hastings GB, Stead M and MacKintosh AM (2002). Rethinking drugs prevention: Radical thoughts from social marketing. Health Education Journal, 61(4): 347-364.



Tackling Drugs in Disadvantaged Communities: An Investigation into the Role and Potential of Media Advocacy
(2001-2002)
(Commissioned by the Central Office of Information: Communications Division)

This qualitative study investigated the actual and potential contribution of media advocacy to drugs prevention efforts. It examined current practice among a range of local organisations in using the media, identifying both apparently effective uses of the media and problematic uses of the media; examined the factors which foster 'good' media advocacy; and assessed what support and guidance can be provided to encourage more focused and imaginative media advocacy for drugs prevention in the future.

The research adopted a community case study approach in two communities in the North of England. The research in each case study site comprised interviews with agencies with a drugs prevention remit about their approach to using the media, the 'targets' of these agencies' media work and an examination of actual media coverage.

The research is of benefit to agencies with an interest in drugs communication in that it: maps different local agencies' roles and positions in relation to using the media for drugs prevention; identifies ways to improve drugs agencies' effectiveness in use of the media (eg. training needs); informs the development of good practice guidelines and recommendations to enhance local use of the media to support and advance the national drugs strategy; and provides guidance on how media advocacy can contribute to community participation and action around drugs issues.

ISM Staff: Douglas Eadie, Martine Stead and Gerard Hastings

Publications:
Eadie D, Stead M and Hastings G (2003). Tackling Drugs in Disadvantaged Communities: An Investigation into the Role and Potential of Media Advocacy. Report for the Home Office and Department of Health.



Desk Research to Inform the Development of Communications to Reduce Drugs Use and Drug Related Harm in Socially Excluded Communities
(2000-2001)
(Commissioned by the Central Office of Information: Communications Division)

This literature review was conducted to inform the development of drugs prevention communications to help prevent and reduce drug use and drug related harm in socially excluded communities. The desk research summarised available information relevant to the development of communications aiming to reduce drug use and drug-related harm in socially excluded communities, and is being used by COI to guide future communication strategy.

ISM Staff: Martine Stead, Gerard Hastings and Douglas Eadie

Publications:
Stead M, Hastings GB and Eadie DR (2003). Desk research to inform the development of communications to reduce drug use and drug related harm in socially excluded communities. Report for the Home Office and Department of Health.



Evaluation of Substance Misuse and High Risk Population Projects
(1999-2000)
(Commissioned by Newcastle and North Tyneside Health Authority)

This case study evaluation examined the delivery and perceived impacts of projects set up with Department of Health and Home Office pump priming funding for drugs prevention activities aimed at young people at high risk of involvement in substance misuse. Five projects were developed and implemented in the Tyne and Wear Health Action Zone (HAZ) between 1999 and 2000. The projects were delivered through a range of different settings (youth services, residential care, schools, a youth offending team and social services). They used a range of approaches, including harm reduction advice, specialist referral, individual counselling, activity-based group work, behaviour modification and alternatives to school exclusion. The evaluation described the history and characteristics of each project and the factors influencing its delivery; identified the strengths and weaknesses of each project from the perspectives of workers, managers, and partner agencies; and drew out lessons regarding the future delivery of prevention work with high risk young people in similar settings.

ISM Staff: Martine Stead, Susan MacAskill and Douglas Eadie

Publications:
Stead M, Eadie DR and MacAskill S (2001). Evaluation of Substance Misuse and High Risk Population Projects Funded Through Tyne & Wear Health Action Zone. London: Department of Health / Home Office / Tyne & Wear HAZ / Tackling Drugs to Build a Better Britain.



Local Drugs Prevention Partnerships and the Media

(Commissioned by the Home Office Central Drugs Prevention Unit)

This study examined the effectiveness of local Drugs Prevention Teams in generating appropriate media coverage of the second European Drugs Prevention Week. It adopted a case study design to identify and compare the approaches used by a number of different teams to build relationships with local journalists and other key partners, and to identify recommendations for good practice.

ISM Staff: Douglas Eadie

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