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War Stories from the Drug Survey
How Culture, Politics, and Statistics Shaped the National Survey on Drug Use and Health
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Main description:

The primary data driver behind U.S. drug policy is the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. This insider history traces the evolution of the survey and how the survey has interacted with the political and social climate of the country, from its origins during the Vietnam War to its role in the war on drugs. The book includes first-hand accounts that explain how the data were used and misused by political leaders, why changes were made in the survey design, and what challenges researchers faced in communicating statistical principles to policymakers and leaders. It also makes recommendations for managing survey data collection and reporting in the context of political pressures and technological advances. Survey research students and practitioners will learn practical lessons about questionnaire design, mode effects, sampling, nonresponse, weighting, editing, imputation, statistical significance, and confidentiality. The book also includes common-language explanations of key terms and processes to help data users understand the point of view of survey statisticians.


Introduction; 1. President Nixon launches the war on drugs; 2. The survey continuees, as illicit drug use peaks; 3. Cocaine and new directions for the survey; 4. The White House needs data and a bigger survey; 5. Criticism, correction, and communication; 6. The survey moves to SAMHSA; 7. Rising drug use in the 1990s; 8. Better sample, better analysis, but not always; 9. A perfect redesign storm; 10. Continuing survey design improvements; 11. Analytic bankruptcy, reorganization, recovery, and resilience; 12. How to redesign an ongoing survey, or not; 13. Lessons learned and future challenges


ISBN-13: 9781107122703
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: November, 2018
Pages: 200
Weight: 571g
Availability: Not yet available
Subcategories: Epidemiology


Average Rating 

Advance praise: 'This book is a first of a kind 'tell all' about data. Not just any data, but the very data that courted the national public policy machine into decades of debate about how to solve the very problem it defined: America's addiction to drugs. When she would not cooperate with our wishes and say what we desperately wanted to hear – America is drug free – we tried to change her. As this book documents so well, silly us. The data are the data; what we do with it reflects our own vices. This book is a must read for anyone who wants a thorough understanding of the nexus between data systems and public policy.' John Carnevale, Carnevale Associates, LLC Advance praise: 'Sound methodology is a sine qua non of quality measurements. It doesn't happen magically, as Joseph Gfroerer expertly shows us. Data scientists will benefit from the details of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health data generating process; however, the book will also be an invaluable source for policy makers too as it illustrates and informs though fascinating examples of the interplay between political decision making and survey statistics.' Frauke Kreuter, University of Maryland, University of Mannheim, and Institute for Employment Research Advance praise: 'Rare is it to find a comprehensive methodological and political history of an important social and epidemiological resource such as the NSDUH. Gfroerer's careful documentation of the evolution of this ongoing national survey make for a fascinating case study of real world applied research.' Timothy P. Johnson, University of Illinois at Chicago