Seeking victims or casualties of the U.S. War on Drugs

Make sure your voice is heard!

I am looking for the voices of incarcerated victims, family members, or Community supports to participate in a study on the negative effects of the U.S. War on Drugs. How has it impacted your access to treatment, counseling, education, job training, legal support and other Social services?


My name is Rachel Ehrlich and I am a candidate for the Masters in Social Work at the Smith College School for Social Work. I am conducting a study of how the War on Drugs affects the availability of social services for its victims, i.e. treatment, therapy, economic or job training, education, and lifestyle. This study will interview victims or casualties of The War on Drugs or their family or community supports. Each volunteer will participate in an individual questionnaire to give their opinions, knowledge, and experience of the subject matter.

You are being asked to participate as a person who has described himself or herself as having a significant relationship to this issue either because of your own or a family member or friends' involvement with the War on Drugs.

If you agree to participate in this research you will be asked to complete a brief questionnaire and mail to the address below. In many cases you will be asked to give a personal history of your involvement with this issue, and asked to share your experiences as a victim of the Drug War. Participation will require approximately some of your time.

The interview material will be used as anecdotal report in a research project discussing the negative impact of The War on Drugs on the availability of treatment, education, and other social service resources.

There will be no financial benefits to you, and no other benefits anticipated, other than the knowledge that you have made a significant contribution to the dialogue surrounding this issue.

Confidentiality will be protected by changing all names and protecting interview materials in a locked filing cabinet. The information given by you will be used only in a manner that cannot be identified with you. If used in presentations and publications, the information will be presented in a manner that preserves this anonymity. Because many of you are incarcerated or victims of the criminal justice system, it is important that you be thoughtful about what information you share. Please only share information that you are comfortable sharing and will not increase the risks to you or your loved ones in any way.

Should you require support to deal with difficult issues that come up for you as a result of this interview, a referral to an appropriate and accessible source will be provided for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them. Your participation is entirely voluntary. You may refuse to answer any individual question. You may also change your mind and withdraw your participation at any time. If you decide to withdraw, all information that you shared will be immediately destroyed.

After the research is complete, you may request a copy. You will be responsible for fees incurred with the copying and dissemination of the report to you.

Signing below and printing your name indicates your decision to participate, having read the information provided above.

Name: ____________________________________

Signature __________________________________

Thank you very much for your participation!


Demographic Information

Please mark an 'x' next to the answer that best describes you.


____ Female ____ Male


____ 21-30 ____ 31-40 ____ 41-50

____ 51-60 ____ 60+


____ African-American/Blackxxxxxxxxx ____ Asian-American

____ European American/Whitexxxxxxx ____ Latino/a

____ Native American xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx____ Pacific Islander

____ Other

Please answer the following questions in your own words.

1) What is your relationship to the US War on Drugs?

2) Have you/or a family member had difficulty accessing the following services as a result of involvement with illegal substance use/activity? (please check all that apply)

 ____ therapy

____ counseling

____ drug treatment

____ drug rehabilitation

____ economic development/job training

____ education

____ health care

____ Medicaid

____ legal services

____ housing/shelter

____ welfare/public assistance

____ other (please describe)

3) Do you believe the services above can be helpful for people who use or have a relationship with illegal drugs? How?

4) Please describe you or your family members involvement with the criminal justice system as a result of the War on Drugs.

5) Please share whatever additional thoughts, feelings, or experiences you feel would be helpful in understanding your experience with the US War on Drugs.

Your participation and voice is extremely valuable. Thank you.

If you have any questions or wish to withdraw your consent, please contact:

Rachel Ehrlich
59 Dryads Green
Northampton, MA 01060

Editor's note: Be sure to mail the questionaire to the address above! TNC will receive a copy of the report. Print this column, but you will have to answer the questions on a seperate sheet of paper.