Crack cocaine injection practices and HIV risk: Findings from New York and Bridgeport

Stephen E. Lankenau, Michael C. Clatts, Lloyd A. Goldsamt, Dorinda Welle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines the behavioral practices and health risks associated with preparing crack cocaine for injection. Using an ethno-epidemiological approach, injection drug users (n=38) were recruited between 1999 and 2000 from public settings in New York City and Bridgeport, Connecticut and responded to a semistructured interview focusing on crack injection initiation and their most recent crack injection. Study findings indicate that methods of preparing crack for injection were impacted by a transforming agent, heat applied to the "cooker," heroin use, age of the injector, and geographic location of the injector. The findings suggest that crack injectors use a variety of methods to prepare crack, which may carry different risks for the transmission of bloodborne pathogens. In particular, crack injection may be an important factor in the current HIV epidemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-332
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Drug Issues
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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