This report provides detailed information on the fieldwork and data processing for the 2018 Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS). The guide also includes appendices on technical aspects of the survey, including data specifications. The research was commissioned by the Scottish Government and conducted by Ipsos MORI Scotland.
Previous surveys have been carried out by the Child and Adolescent Health Research Unit (CAHRU) at the University of Edinburgh (2002 and 2004), BMRB (2006) and Ipsos MORI Scotland (2008, 2010, 2013, 2015).
The 2018 survey is the latest sweep in an important and long established series of national surveys on substance use among young people. These were carried out jointly in England and Scotland between 1982 and 2000, in order to provide national information with which to monitor smoking behaviour (from 1982), drinking behaviour (from 1990) and drug use (from 1998).
Scotland identified a need for local as well as national information, and a need for contextual information on other lifestyle, health and social factors, which could not be met by the existing survey arrangements. Since 2002, separate survey arrangements have been made in Scotland and the survey has been known as the Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS).
SALSUS is the Scottish Government's main source of information on alcohol, drug and tobacco use among Scotland's young people. It helps to inform progress towards Scottish Government policies to reduce the harms from smoking, drinking and drug use among children and young people.
SALSUS is also designed to inform policy and practice by providing information on patterns of behaviour in relation to smoking, drinking and drug use; sources of cigarettes, alcohol and drugs; pupils' attitudes and the attitudes of families and friends to substance use; and contextual information on the relationship between substance use and other lifestyle, health and social factors.
Trend data is available dating back to 1982 and providing a time series is an important function of the survey.