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Answers to frequently asked questions about the EDRS

Researchers at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre would like to invite people who use ecstasy and other stimulants to participate in a one-hour CONFIDENTIAL and ANONYMOUS interview for the Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS). Participants are reimbursed $40 for their time and expenses. Contact the study coordinator in your state.

Is this research anonymous?

Yes. At no time will information that can identify you (such as your name, date of birth or address) be recorded on the questionnaire. You are also free to use a false name.

Is this research legitimate?

Yes. This study is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and has been conducted in each state and territory in Australia since 2003. It is coordinated nationally by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC).

How does it work?

We conduct interviews each year with people who regularly use ecstasy and related drugs. Due to current events with COVID-19, in 2022 we will be conducting interviews either face-to-face or over the phone/via video conferencing (this will vary depending on the jurisdiction you are in and current COVID-19 restrictions).

Could I get in trouble for revealing this sort of information?

As part of our requirements for ethical research, we are under obligation to ensure that participation is both confidential and anonymous. For example, that means that we do not reveal personal information about you to others and we do not attach your name or any other personally identifying information to your interview responses. It is important to us to ensure that our participants are treated in a respectful and ethical manner which includes protecting their privacy.

However, there are certain circumstances in which we need to break our confidentiality. These include:

  • If you reveal the intention to hurt yourself or another person.
  • If you disclose specific details about a crime that you witnessed or were involved in (such as date, place, persons involved).

What happens with the information collected?

The de-identified data (i.e. containing no personal details) is kept in a secured database. The only people who can see this data are those who are directly involved with the study or who apply for special permission.

What do I have to do if I participate?

EDRS participants usually contact us via sms, by email or by calling us. The EDRS coordinator for their state will then ask them, with their consent, a few confidential questions to ensure they are eligible to participate in the study. If they are eligible, the coordinator will then book a time for them to complete the interview. Interviews were sometimes completed on site at the centre where the study is held and sometimes in other locations which may be more convenient for participants (e.g. in a cafe or at a university campus), though this year (2022), depending on the COVID-19 situation, interviews may be conducted over the telephone or via video conferencing (eg. Webex).

It takes about 1 hour to complete an EDRS interview. Participants are reimbursed $40 for their time and travel expenses. If interviews are conducted face-to-face, participants will be reimbursed with cash. If interviews are conducted over the telephone/videoconference, participants will be reimbursed electronically, either via bank transfer, gift voucher or PayID.

During the interview, you will be asked questions about your use of drugs and alcohol, the price, purity and availability of drugs and other questions about your health and wellbeing (e.g. sexual health, mental health etc). You do not have to answer anything you are uncomfortable answering. There are no blood, urine or hair samples taken as part of the study.

What is the EDRS?

The EDRS is a drug market monitoring study which is undertaken each year in every capital city of Australia. The project aims to examine patterns of use of ecstasy and other related drugs (such as powder methamphetamine, methamphetamine base, crystal methamphetamine, ketamine, GHB, LSD, cocaine etc.); to document the price, purity and availability of these drugs; to look at drug related harms and to identify emerging trends that require further investigation.

How is the data used?

The data is used to:

  • Compose a yearly report on drug markets in each state and territory as well as nationally;
  • Write quarterly bulletins addressing specific topics;
  • Write research papers which inform the scientific and medical communities;
  • Provide information sessions to health care providers and law enforcement personnel; and
  • Respond to enquiries about the drug markets (e.g. from the media or from government departments).

Can I look at some findings from previous years’ studies?

Sure. Go to https://ndarc.med.unsw.edu.au/resource-type/drug-trends-national-reports

Has this research received ethics approval?

Yes. Ethics approval has been received from the University of New South Wales Human Research Ethics Committee: Approval number HREC-190913.

How do I get involved?
You can find the contact details for your state below and either SMS, call or email them directly. You must contact the coordinator for the state you are currently living in. Scroll down to find their details or click on the link next to their name to send them an email directly.

New South Wales (NSW)  Fi
Contact Fi now (you will be redirected to another page)
Otherwise, you can contact Fi via the details below:
Mobile: 0404 915 098
Visit: Drug Research in Sydney on Facebook

Victoria (VIC) – Joanna
Contact Joanna now (you will be redirected to another page)
You can contact Joanna via the details below:
0490 456 652 

Queensland (QLD) – Catherine
Contact Catherine now (you will be redirected to another page)
Otherwise, you can contact Catherine via the details below:
Mobile: 0437 390 190
Visit: EDRS Queensland (Drug Research in Queensland) on Facebook

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) – Julia
Contact Julia now (you will be redirected to another page)
Otherwise, you can contact Julia via the details below:
Mobile: 0405 154 088
Visit: Ecstasy Research In Canberra on Facebook

South Australia (SA) – Toni
Contact Toni now (you will be redirected to another page)
Otherwise, you can contact Toni via the details below:
Mobile: 0420 571 197
Visit: Drug Research in Adelaide on Facebook

Western Australia (WA) – Jodie
Contact Jodie now (you will be redirected to another page)
Otherwise, you can contact Jodie via the details below:
Mobile: 0416 303 461

Tasmania (TAS) - Yalei and Andrew
Contact Yalei and Andrew now (you will be redirected to another page)
Otherwise, you can contact the team via the details below:
SMS: 0401 487 948
yalei.wilson@utas.edu.au or andrew.stone@utas.edu.au
Visit: Party Drug Survey, Hobart on Facebook 

Northern Territory (NT) – Cate
Contact Cate now (you will be redirected to another page)
Otherwise, you can contact Cate via the details below:
Mobile: 0405 009 620
Visit: Ecstasy Research in Darwin on Facebook

This information was accurate at 02/03/2022