Arrestee Responses to Questions of Drug Use: An Assessment of Reliability by Race/Ethnicity

Pauline Brennan, Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte
Paul C. Friday, University of North Carolina - Charlotte
Vivian B. Lord, University North Carolina at Charlotte

Included among the various methods of learning about the extent of drug use among the criminal population, is the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) program, funded by the National Institute of Justice. In a number of sites across the country, ADAM researchers, on a quarterly basis, ask a sample of those recently arrested a series of questions about their drug use, including most recent use. Respondents are also asked, at the completion of the interview, to provide a urine sample, as a validation measure. In this paper, we examine the reliability of responses within the survey and the reliability and validity of answers given to questions about recent drug use. In this paper, using ADAM data from a southeastern city, we focus our attention on the question of whether response reliability varies by arrestee race/ethnicity.

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Updated 05/20/2006