Suicidal ideation among African-American non-injection drug users

Jennifer R. Havens, Danielle C. Ompad, Carl A. Latkin, Crystal M. Fuller, Amelia M. Arria, David Vlahov, Steffanie A. Strathdee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of the study was to explore correlates of suicidal ideation among African Americans in a community-based cohort in Baltimore, Md. Participants had initiated use of heroin, crack, or cocaine by means other than injection in the prior 10 years. An interview-administered questionnaire collected information regarding drug use history, depressive symptoms, drug dependence, and suicidal thoughts and attempts within the past six months. Multiple logistic regression was used to identify factors independently associated with suicidal ideation. Of 148 persons, median age was 27 years, and 60.8% were female. Suicidal ideation was reported by 21.6% of participants. Those reporting suicidal ideation were significantly more likely to be dependent on two or more drugs (adjusted odds ratio =2.93, 95% confidence interval=1.25, 6.88). Our findings underscore the need to integrate treatment for psychiatric comorbidity and drug dependence and target these services toward young, African-American drug users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-115
Number of pages6
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • African American
  • Depression
  • Drug dependence
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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