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Gore SM, Drug Survey Investigator's Consortium. 
“Effective monitoring of young people's use of illegal drugs: meta-analysis of UK trends and recommendations”. 
Brit J of Criminology. 1999;39(4):575-84.
The UK government's ten-year drugs strategy was announced in April 1998. It requires effective monitoring. This paper indicates that surveys used currently in the UK for drugs monitoring are underpowered. It further indicates - through a meta-analysis which pooled comparisons of reported drugs use by 16-24 year olds - that added value can be obtained from the existing data sets. For example, previously unrecognized and substantial increases in 16-24 year olds' reported use of amphetamine or ecstasy were revealed by pooling trends across UK general population surveys. These increases of one-third took place in the mid-1990s and were revealed because secondary analysis led to increased precision. Even with this enhanced precision, the conclusion remains that current monitoring strategies are underpowered. Besides enlarged general population surveys, it is recommended that for the monitoring of young people's injecting or use of heroin alternative surveys are commissioned which target higher risk sentinel groups, such as young people living in deprived areas, or young offenders. Survey sizes will need to be larger still, and survey sites appropriately selected, for regional variation in illegal drugs use to be properly addressed.
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