Perceived neighborhood illicit drug selling, peer illicit drug disapproval and illicit drug use among U.S. high school seniors

Dustin T. Duncan, Joseph J. Palamar, James H. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: This study examined associations between perceived neighborhood illicit drug selling, peer illicit drug disapproval and illicit drug use among a large nationally representative sample of U.S. high school seniors. Methods: Data come from Monitoring the Future (2007-2011), an annual cross-sectional survey of U.S. high school seniors. Students reported neighborhood illicit drug selling, friend drug disapproval towards marijuana and cocaine use, and past 12-month and past 30-day illicit drug use (N = 10,050). Multinomial logistic regression models were fit to explain use of 1) just marijuana, 2) one illicit drug other than marijuana, and 3) more than one illicit drug other than marijuana, compared to " no use". Results: Report of neighborhood illicit drug selling was associated with lower friend disapproval of marijuana and cocaine; e.g., those who reported seeing neighborhood sales " almost every day" were less likely to report their friends strongly disapproved of marijuana (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.38, 95% CI: 0.29, 0.49) compared to those who reported never seeing neighborhood drug selling and reported no disapproval. Perception of neighborhood illicit drug selling was also associated with past-year drug use and past-month drug use; e.g., those who reported seeing neighborhood sales " almost every day" were more likely to report 30-day use of more than one illicit drug (AOR = 11.11, 95% CI: 7.47, 16.52) compared to those who reported never seeing neighborhood drug selling and reported no 30-day use of illicit drugs. Conclusions: Perceived neighborhood drug selling was associated with lower peer disapproval and more illicit drug use among a population-based nationally representative sample of U.S. high school seniors. Policy interventions to reduce " open" (visible) neighborhood drug selling (e.g., problem-oriented policing and modifications to the physical environment such as installing and monitoring surveillance cameras) may reduce illicit drug use and peer disapproval of illicit drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number35
JournalSubstance Abuse: Treatment, Prevention, and Policy
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 9 2014

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Illicit drug use
  • Neighborhood drug selling
  • Peer drug attitudes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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