Ever since the fiftieth, the sixtieth and the seventieth, the time I worked and studied in the United States, I developed an interest in the fate of the many drug addicts I met there. What struck me particularly was the fact that these drug addicts were almost always quite young. In light of the long history of drug abuse in the United States, I wondered at that time where the older ones were and what had happened to them, but I did not have the possibility to carry the question any further. Only much later, in 1986, when I entered the department of epidemiology of the Municipal Health Service of Rotteraam as a qualitative researcher and was asked if I had a preference for a specific research topic, I saw a possibility to look into the question. When I put it forward, the answer was at first a somewhat surprised "Well, I suppose they are all dead", shortly followed however by "but if you want to be sure, write a research proposal" This I did, in the sense that I proposed to look into the whole course of a drug addiction. The proposal was accepted also because such a project could possibly provide suitable leads to improve the treatment of the addicts which has up till now a depressingly low success rate. The ensuing study is an attempt to construct a grounded theory about the course of hard-drug addiction.

W.J. Schudel (Willem)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Prins, E.H. (1995, January 25). Maturing Out: An empirical study of personal histories and processes in hard-drug addiction. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/21449