How Far Down the Rabbit Hole Are You Willing to Go?

Melissa E. Fenwick, University of South Florida
Wilson R. Palacios, University of South Florida

There has been a new research area generated by recent designer drug use in the United States. Most notably, individuals taking "dance drugs" such as ecsasy (MDMA) have become increasing targets of law enforcement and anti-drug campaigns. However, despite all the political rhetoric there has been very little systematic research concerning this type of substance user. This particular phenomenon poses a new challenge for verteran substance abuse researchers in the field. This paper examines exactly what those challenges are in relation to subject recruitment, subject retention, ethical boundaries/dilemmas, and the guise of research confidentiality as it applies to qualitative drug research.

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Updated 05/20/2006