Journal of Community Health

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 328–337 | Cite as

The Influence of Neighborhood Characteristics on the Relationship Between Discrimination and Increased Drug-Using Social Ties Among Illicit Drug Users

  • Natalie D. CrawfordEmail author
  • Luisa N. Borrell
  • Sandro Galea
  • Chandra Ford
  • Carl Latkin
  • Crystal M. Fuller
Original Paper


Social discrimination may isolate drug users into higher risk relationships, particularly in disadvantaged neighborhood environments where drug trade occurs. We used negative binomial regression accounting for clustering of individuals within their recruitment neighborhood to investigate the relationship between high-risk drug ties with various forms of social discrimination, neighborhood minority composition, poverty and education. Results show that experiencing discrimination due to drug use is significantly associated with more drug ties in neighborhoods with fewer blacks. Future social network and discrimination research should assess the role of neighborhood social cohesion.


Discrimination Drug use Social networks Neighborhood Segregation 



This study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01 DA 019964-01). The authors thank the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars program for its financial support. Finally, the authors would like to acknowledge the START staff and participants for their contributions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natalie D. Crawford
    • 1
    Email author
  • Luisa N. Borrell
    • 2
  • Sandro Galea
    • 3
  • Chandra Ford
    • 4
  • Carl Latkin
    • 5
  • Crystal M. Fuller
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology, Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health, School of Public HealthUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.CUNY Graduate Center, Lehman CollegeBronxUSA
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public HealthColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Department of Community Health Sciences, Center for Health Sciences, School of Public HealthUniversity of California at Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  5. 5.Department of Health, Behavior and SocietyJohn Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA

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