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Race, Structural Disadvantage, and Illicit Drug Use Among Arrestees

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice Policy Review Volume: 23 Issue: 1 Dated: March 2012 Pages: 18-39
Jonathon A. Cooper; Andrew M. Fox; Nancy Rodriguez
Date Published
March 2012
22 pages
This study examined the relationship between structural disadvantage and methamphetamine use.
Although structural disadvantage has been found to predict both crime and illicit drug use, its pattern relative to methamphetamine use is not clear. To gain further insight into the relationship between structural disadvantage and methamphetamine use, the current study examines how structural disadvantage, as a macro-level risk factor, predicts methamphetamine use relative to other illicit drug use among a national sample of male arrestees. The study also examines the interaction between race/ethnicity, structural disadvantage, and methamphetamine use, vis-a-vis that of other drugs. Findings reveal that Black and Latino arrestees were more likely than Whites to test positive for marijuana, cocaine, and opiates than methamphetamine. Also, Whites in less disadvantaged areas were more likely than similarly situated Blacks to test positive for methamphetamine than marijuana, cocaine, and opiates. Policy implications are discussed. (Published Abstract)