Beata Ciesluk

Project Title: The ‘Hidden’ Problem with Drug Use in Scotland: A Mixed Method Investigation into the Increasing Rates of Drug Use in Older Women

There is a significant lack of research in Scotland into individuals who use drugs who are not obvious to or seeking supporting services (e.g, women, older individuals). Researching this population will allow the voices of these individuals to be heard and to inform the development of interventions that will have a positive impact on lives through harm reduction, and access to treatment for those who may go otherwise unnoticed.

My research project aims to establish trends of drug use and the current effectiveness of interventions in Scotland with a focus on prescription drug use amongst the “hidden” population. Surveys, interviews and focus groups will be conducted to measure drug use trends, motives for drug use, existing barriers to treatment with the aim of finding the best solutions for current issues. Further to this my project will take on collaborative approach with third sector organizations to develop a common language allowing for the translation of the research findings to reach a wider audience. The collaborative approach will also aim to design an intervention to tackle the barriers to treatment for the “hidden” population. The final aim is to conduct a pilot intervention to test our design and publish the results in a transparent way to support policy and outreach. To give a voice with meaning to those who are currently unheard.

Awarded: Carnegie PhD Scholarship

Field: Social Sciences

University: University of the West of Scotland

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