Experiencing Violence as a Predictor of Drug Use Relapse among Former Drug Users in Baltimore, Maryland
The purpose of this study was to examine experiencing violence as a predictor of subsequent drug relapse among a sample of former crack, cocaine, and heroin users in Baltimore, MD, USA. The sample consists of 228 former drug users in Baltimore who were recruited through street outreach. Mixed-effects models were used to examine experiencing violence as a predictor of drug relapse at follow-up after adjusting for clustering of responses among participants living in the same census block. Using longitudinal data, we found that experiencing violence in the past year predicted drug relapse at 2-year follow-up among former drug users. Results indicate experiencing violence is a determinant of drug use relapse and highlight the importance of addressing the fundamental issues of violence experienced in inner-city communities. Addressing the extent of recent violence among drug treatment participants, providing coping skills, and reducing community violence are strategies that may address the link between violence and drug relapse.