Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Injection drug users' and their risk networks' experiences of and attitudes towards drug dealer violence in Baltimore, Maryland

TitleInjection drug users' and their risk networks' experiences of and attitudes towards drug dealer violence in Baltimore, Maryland
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsLatkin, CA, Yang, C, Tobin, KE, German, D
JournalInternational Journal of Drug Policy
Date PublishedMar
ISBN Number09553959 (ISSN)
Accession Number22959117
KeywordsAdult, African American, article, Attitude, attitude to violence, avoidance behavior, Drug dealer, Educational Status, employment status, Female, follow up, Homelessness, human, Income, Injection drug users, interpersonal communication, intravenous drug abuse, major clinical study, Male, miscellaneous named groups, patient attitude, personal experience, Police, priority journal, sex difference, social aspect, social network, social status, United States, Violence, witness

Background: A large portion of violence associated with drug use is due to drug dealing. These analyses sought to examine injection drug users' attitudes and experiences of drug dealer violence. Methods: The current study used the 18-month follow up data of STEP into Action (STEP) study, an HIV prevention intervention among drug injectors and their risk network members conducted in Baltimore, Maryland. Four scales assessed acceptability of drug dealer violence, willingness to talk to drug users about avoiding drug dealer violence, social norms about reporting drug dealer violence and intentions to report drug dealer violence to the police. Results: Many (44%) of the 373 participants reported witnessing drug dealers' acts of violence within the prior 6 months. Although the majority of participants disagreed with statements on the acceptability of dealers using violence, only a minority indicated that they would call the police if they observed dealer violence. Most participants indicated that they would be interested in talking to drug users about how to avoid violent dealers. Males were more likely to report that violence was acceptable, whereas African Americans were less likely to condone violence. Those who were homeless and had higher incomes were more likely to report witnessing drug dealer violence. Conclusions: These results suggest that it may be feasible to train current and former drug users and their risk network members in methods to promote violence reduction among drug dealers. © 2012 Elsevier B.V..