Triangulating syndemic services and drug treatment policy: Improving drug treatment portal locations in Baltimore City

C. Debra M. Furr-Holden, Adam J. Milam, Elizabeth D. Nesoff, Joshua Garoon, Mieka J. Smart, Alexandra Duncan, Gregory C. Warren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Problem: The prevalence of injection drug use (IDU) and incidence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) remain high in Baltimore, where IDU is a primary HIV risk factor. Substance use disorders and HIV are related syndemically— their causes and consequences interact synergistically. Baltimore is increasingly considering the syndemic relationship of substance use disorders, IDU, and HIV in making decisions about drug treatment funding and location. Purpose of Article: Our goal was to empirically identify the optimal location of new drug treatment programs through the development and application of a novel, practical tool. Key Points: Syndemic triangles were constructed to measure and visualize unmet need for drug treatment services. These data were used to determine priority zones for new treatment centers. Conclusions: The application of this tool helped inform strategies for locating drug treatment services in Baltimore, and its successful use suggests its potential value in other metropolitan areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-327
Number of pages9
JournalProgress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Drug treatment
  • Geographic information systems
  • Health policy
  • Health services accessibility
  • Health services administration
  • Injection drug use
  • Needle-exchange programs
  • Substance-related disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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