Using multi-criteria decision analysis to assess expert and stakeholder preference on adolescent illicit drug policy options in Hong Kong

Multiple-criteria analysis (MCA) has been applied to many complex decisions to assist in risk assessment and selection of alternative operators or policy options. Using the MCA techniques, key expert preferences for 19 drug interventions in Hong Kong were examined. Significant differences in preferences were found among academics, health professionals and law enforcers regarding drug testing, and a range of law enforcement, harm reduction and treatment interventions. Using a seven-stage drug use continuum (non-use, priming, initial use, experimental use, occasional use, regular use and dysfunctional use) experts rated social and environmental factors as the most influential in terms of initiation and escalation of drug involvement, while drug-specific/related harms became the greatest concern during the maintenance phase. The consensual preference reveals an overall support for preventative and treatment strategies, with decriminalisation, needle syringe programs, a range of policing strategies and drug testing seen as less favourable. The findings highlight a challenge for policymakers in accommodating diverse preferences among stakeholders. In order to overcome this challenge, MCA, as a commonly used method in the decision sciences, can be adopted to assist policymakers in understanding the profound knowledge experts possess and making informed drug policy decision via a systematic and logical approach. *Please note the location of the event may be subject to change. This will be updated accordingly should this happen.
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Updated:  11 September 2017/Responsible Officer:  CASS Marketing & Communications/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications