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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 97776 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Empirical Patterns of Heroin Consumption Among Selected Street Heroin Users (From Social and Medical Aspects of Drug Abuse, P 101-123, 1984, G Serban, ed.)
Author(s): B D Johnson
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 23
Sponsoring Agency: National Development and Research Institute, Inc. (NDRI)
New York, NY 10010
National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Bethesda, MD 20892-9561
Spectrum Publications, Inc
Jamaica, NY 11432
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: R01-DA-01926-01-03
Sale Source: Spectrum Publications, Inc
175-20 Wexford Terrace
Jamaica, NY 11432
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: These case descriptions of patterns of heroin consumption among seven heroin users show empirical patterns that do not fit comfortably with existing models of addiction.
Abstract: The data came from subjects recruited in a ghetto neighborhood of New York City as part of a long-term effort to study the economic behavior of opiate users and street hustlers. During the study period (1978-79), the subjects reported to a storefront field office where they were interviewed for 30 or more consecutive days. Information was gathered on the respondent's involvement and cash return from several crimes, the type and value of drugs used, income from all sources, and expenditures for all purposes during the preceding day. The characteristics of the 31 respondents were compared with clients attending public methadone clinics in East Harlem. A majority of both groups were over age 30, but the study group had a substantially lower proportion of females than the clinics. Over 90 percent had been arrested, and 80 percent had been incarcerated. Education and employment levels were low. Heroin use ranged from irregular (an average of 2 days in the last 30) to near daily (heroin consumed 75 percent of the last 30 days). Three near-daily users were a successful burglar, a street drug dealer, and a versatile and successful criminal. Other subjects used illicit methadone, cocaine, or alcohol in addition to irregular use of heroin. The varieties of patterns of heroin use suggest that careful analyses of daily behavior may provide new insights on which to form a clearer model of opiate addiction. Figures and 13 references are supplied.
Index Term(s): Drug abuse; Drug offenders; Drug Related Crime; Heroin maintenance; New York
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