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Research indepedence matters for practitioners and researchers in the addictions
journal contributionposted on 2008-07-01, 00:00 authored by Peter MillerPeter Miller
As governments, industry bodies, and other interest groups become more adept at influencing the conduct and dissemination of research, it is increasingly important that the alcohol and other drug (AOD) sector maintains and protects the integrity of its evidence base. This commentary discusses the level and type of influence being exerted on the research process by different interest groups within the field. It explores the impact and influence of funding bodies, other interest groups, and social systems on addiction and recovery using relevant examples to identify questions for practitioners and researchers to consider when encountering interested parties in their day-to-day practice. Ultimately, it is service users and clinicians at the "front line" of recovery who have the most to lose from research findings that have been unduly influenced. The best protection against bias in these forms is to practice critical self-reflection and to keep openly and honestly debating those things that we find most challenging.