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Letters / Please share your views on substance misuse

My name is Ami Maddison and I am a 4th year Social Work student from Robert Gordon University.

I was born in Shetland and have lived here my whole life before moving away to university at the age of 17. I had to move back home at the end of March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since then, I have completed the rest of my course online and carried out two placements within different Shetland social work departments. Both of these placements have allowed me to gain a very good understanding of social work and see what it would be like to work as a qualified social worker within Shetland.

After my graduation later this year, I would like to move back home and work here.

As part of my social work degree, I am required to produce a 10,000-word dissertation which will be handed into the university at the end of April.

While studying I took an interest in our substance misuse module and decided this would be the topic for my dissertation. I then got the idea to base my research within Shetland as this is where I was brought up.

While growing up I was able to see how close-knit our community is in Shetland, I also learned that this had both positives and negative attached to it.

This then led me to my final idea for my dissertation which is to explore the public perception and stigma attached to substance misuse within a Scottish rural community.

My aim is to develop a better understanding of the views that exist within our community and compare these to European communities. This will allow me to see if the same trends and views exist or identify if our close-knit community has an influence on this topic.

The survey contains 20 questions covering a variety of areas and open questions for individuals to express their own views as in-depth as they like.

There is a list of support services at the end of the survey should anyone require any support or advice following this.

The link for the survey at https://robertgordonuniversity.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/dissertation-survey-8 will be open until Friday the 4 February.

Many thanks.

Ami Maddison
Robert Gordon University