Researchers led by Matthew Hickman, from Imperial College, London, investigated reports of "episodes" of drug user attendance at dependency and rehabilitation clinics. Although records were kept on new clients, the prevalence of known problem drug users who may attend more than one agency was not measured.
Writing in the British Medical Journal, the researchers said: "The database does not measure the prevalence of known problem drug-takers, which means it is inadequate for planning services and provides a false picture of trends of visible drug use.
"The database needs to be changed rather than abandoned since policy makers and health services need information on drug users in contact with services."Reuse content