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Drugs: Misuse

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 6 April 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the answer of 1 June 2009, Official Report, column 159W, on drugs: misuse, when the result of the commissioned research on the impact of khat will be available; and (a) how and (b) when the focus groups will be set up. (320110)

The Department commissioned two studies in 2009 to explore the social harms associated with khat use. The first of these is a qualitative study exploring perceptions of the social harms associated with khat use; the availability of treatment services provided for khat users; and perceptions of the appropriate role of Government intervention. The second is a review of the national and international literature examining the evidence on the social harms associated with khat and the impact of legislation in countries which have legislated against khat use and supply. The work is now approaching completion and the Department aims to publish the findings of these studies later in 2010.

For the qualitative study, a total of 10 focus groups were conducted with members of the Somali, Yemeni and Ethiopian communities in Sheffield, London and Cardiff. An additional focus with members of the general public was held in each of the focus group site areas. The composition of focus groups was men-only, women-only or young people-only. The focus groups were conducted in a mix of mother-tongue and English depending on the needs of the group.