The Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring Network (OSAM) is designed to provide accurate, timely, qualitatively-oriented epidemiologic descriptions of substance abuse trends and emerging problems in the state's major urban and rural areas. Use of qualitative methods in identifying and assessing substance abuse practices in local communities is one of the main assets of OSAM Network. Qualitative methods are sensitive to local contextual variability, flexible enough to capture emergent trends, and can be implemented with limited financial resources. This paper describes how qualitative epidemiologic methods, like those used by the OSAM Network, could be applied to inform substance abuse prevention activities, particularly those directed at adolescents.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/robert_carlson/56/