Literature review is a necessary process that allows researchers to be aware of research that has been conducted in their area of interest (Webster and Watson, 2002). It thus avoids unnecessary repetition of research. Additionally it allows the researchers to integrate the work of other researchers into their own. By conducting literature review researchers can be familiar with methods that work and challenges that are unique in their areas of study.
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Topic and context of study
The review covers the topic of drug misuse and its impact on crime. Best, et al. (2001), conducted a research on the polydrug users who reported for treatment. The focus of the study was on crime and expenditure. According to Best, et al. (2001), the aim of the study was to find out if there is a correlation between treatment for drug use using methadone and crime. It also aimed to find out if crime is related to crime that seeks to support drug habit. There have been numerous studies conducted to access the effectiveness of drug treatment.
There has also been much research done to find out if drug treatment that substitute Opiate are beneficial. The study concentrates on the interaction of replacement of opiates and benefit in reducing crime. Crime is one of the consequences and cause of crime. The study is necessary in order to understand if the treatment of replacing opiates is indeed helpful.
One was of measuring this is in the levels of crime committed by those on opiates and those on methadone treatment. If the research finds that the treatment does not help in reducing crime attributed to drug misuse, then it would follow that new treatment options should be tried.
Study of this nature is important to the study of drugs in general because it provides additional knowledge on drug use. In the study by Best, et al. the knowledge gained is specific about the motivation for drug use and motivation for crime for drug users. It also helps in the evaluation of some treatment options and their effectiveness and pinpointing why the methods fail.
The literature review conducted by Best et. Al (2001), was related to their subject of study. One of the study they reviewed was conducted by Ball and Ross in 1991. This study examined methadone maintenance treatment and its effectiveness (Ball and Ross, 1991). This was an important review since the topics are closely related. It provided the research with insights into relevant information that would facilitate their research.
Type of review
Best, et al. Literature review was integrative. According to Friedman (2006), this is because it concentrated on finding out what was known about the topic at the beginning of their study. The review traces relevant studies that have been conducted and their findings. The review also looked at the concentration of most of the research done on the topic which has been based on several hypotheses.
The research sought to test the hypotheses and gain more knowledge which may present a more fitting hypothesis. The literature used also justifies the way Best, et. al conducted their own research. According to Levy and Ellis (2006), a review informs a researchers methodology, approach and validity of the research.
Breath of Review
The literature review by Best, et. Al (2001), has breath of review sufficient for its study. Since their topic of study is quite narrow they have taken literature that sufficient for their research (Shaw, 1995). The literature review is thus not very broad. A literature review needs to be broad enough to cover necessary content of the research. By using sufficient literature review Best, et al. (2001), demonstrate how their research builds into what has been done before. Best, et al. (2001), target literature that has specifically addressed their topic.
Depth of Review
The literature review used has slightly more depth since it is narrow. According to levy and Ellis (2006), a literature review should be deep enough to offer grounds for synthesis and analysis. Best, et al. conducted a literature review that is not very deep. This is possibility due to the scope of their study which is not big. However the review is enough to direct to relevant conclusions, methods and significance of previous studies while indicating the importance of previous studies to the one being undertaken (Friedman, 2006; Levy and Ellis, 2006).
The method used in the research by Best, et al. was appropriate for their research. This is because the tools they used were appropriate and have been tested in corresponding researches (Best, et al., 2001). In previous researches interviews have been effective in providing reliable information. This proved to be of importance to the research as interviews could also be used in the research without compromising the outcome. Additionally the researchers became aware of several challenged.
For one the researchers realized that to get genuine answers from the interviewees they would have to give them a separate background to their treatment center. This would allow the interviewees to separate the work of the researchers from their daily experiences at the center and feel more free. The researchers thus moved the interviews from the regular center room.
In addition the researchers realized that they needed to reassure the interviewees of confidentiality. This was based on the nature of the questions asked during th interview. The interviewees were self reporting and needed to be reassured that whatever was discussed during the interviews was confidential. That allowed the self reporting to be genuine and honest.
An alternative method that may have been used is questionnaire. This is because the interview questions could be administered in that way and is more cost effective and easier to analyze (Survey Systems, 2007-10)
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Contribution of research and its conclusions
The research reached the conclusion that there is no significance in the committing of crime by those who are on opiates and those who are receiving methadone treatment. This is of importance to field of knowledge as it reveals that methadone may not be having as much benefit as it is intended to. The treatment with methadone is aimed at helping individual seeking treatment to stop drug misuse and to help society as well. However if it is not achieving this purpose this research gives cause to reevaluate the need of the treatment.
The research conducted by Best, et al. has made important contribution to the field of study on drug misuse. It had a sufficient literature review. The research also used an effective methodology and reached valid conclusions based on its findings. It has contributed to knowledge and provided areas into which other research can be conducted in future.
Best, D. et al., 2001. Crime and expenditure amongst polydrug misusers seeking treatment. British Journal of Criminology, 41 (1), pp. 119-126.
Friedman, L. W., 2006. Writing the literature survey paper. (Online). Web.
Levy, Y. and Ellis, T. J., 2006. A systems approach to conduct an effective literature review in support of information systems research. Information Science Journal, 9 (6), pp. 181-126.
Shaw, J., 1995. A Schema approach to the formal literature review in engineering thesis. System, 23 (3), pp 325-335.
Survey Systems., 2007-10. Survey design. Web. Available at https://www.surveysystem.com/sdesign.htm .
Webster, J. and Watson, R. T., 2002. Analysing the past to prepare for the future: writing a literature review. Journal of Management Information System, 26 (2), pp. 13-23.