ALAMA-nightlife survey:designing a survey to explore drug use trajectories in the European nightlife scene

Series type: Insights

Summary

Given the lack of contemporary longitudinal data that acknowledges recent market developments, there is an urgent need to develop and validate methods to investigate the relationship between drug use and engagement with the nightlife scene in Europe. This paper presents one of the research projects in this area, namely the ALAMA-Nightlife project. Through its deployment of the Electronic Music Scene Survey (EMSS), the ALAMA-Nightlife project has been studying drug use and nightlife participation among young adults in five European countries. This paper presents the methodological aspects of the EMSS and some of its initial findings, including the lessons learned from this collaborative research project and its potential implications.

This publication is published as part of a collection of papers on web surveys: Monitoring drug use in the digital age: studies in web surveys (Insights 26).

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Abstract 

While patterns of drug use vary between European countries, there have been recent developments in the drugs market that are likely to be felt by young adults engaging with the nightlife scene across Europe. To gain insights into drug use and nightlife participation and to understand how their patterns change over time among young adults, research institutions participating in the ALAMA-Nightlife project designed and implemented an online longitudinal survey, the Electronic Music Scene Survey (EMSS). This study presents the methodological aspects of the EMSS and some of its initial findings, including the lessons learned from this project and its potential implications. Over 8 000 young adults living in Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom were recruited to the EMSS’s baseline survey, with a 36 % retention rate at the 12-month follow-up stage. The importance of involving focus groups to ensure the relevance and acceptability of the survey content to the target population is one of the findings of this study. In addition, employing both an online and an offline method to recruit participants can help to determine whether the online sample is representative of the target population, in this case young adults attending clubs and festivals.

Table of contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • ALAMA-Nightlife and the EMSS
  • Survey development
  • Recruitment
  • Lessons learned and potential implications
  • Conclusions
  • References
publication cover
Pub. Author: 
Jon Waldron and Meryem Grabski on behalf of the ALAMA Consortium
Pub. Coauthor: 
EMCDDA
Pub. Volume: 
26
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