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Researching hard-to reach populations : privileged access interviewers and drug using parents
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Nicola TaylorNicola Taylor, J Kearney
Accessing drug using populations is notoriously fraught with difficulties for researchers (Gurdin & Patterson, 1987; Griffiths, Gosspo & Strand, 1993; Renzetti & Lee, 1993; Spreen & Zwaagstra, 1994; Goode, 2000; Elliott et al., 2002). These difficulties are the result of a number of reasons. The main one being that drug use is often illicit and/or illegal which often leads to the stigmatization of drug users within the media and elsewhere and this may ultimately lead to their lives being 'concealed by a veil of ignorance' (Elliott et al., 2002: 172). When one adds to this the fact that the population in question may have even more reason to remain hidden, for example, that they are drug using parents who may wish to conceal their identity as either parent or as drug user, accessing them may be even more complicated for researchers, service providers and policy makers alike.