Drug network characteristics as a predictor of cessation of drug use among adult injection drug users: A prospective study

Carl A. Latkin, Amy R. Knowlton, Donald Hoover, Wallace Mandell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Few studies have examined recovery from opiate and cocaine dependence without treatment, referred to as 'natural recovery,' 'spontaneous recovery,' and 'spontaneous remission.' The present study examined the relationship between network characteristics and cessation of heroin, cocaine, and crack use in a sample of underclass inner-city injection drug users in Baltimore, Maryland. Participants were enrolled in an experimental human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) preventive intervention. Between the baseline and follow-up interviews, which averaged 5.2 months, 24 (7%) of 335 participants reported ceasing to use heroin, cocaine, and crack. Individuals who had reported cessation of drug use at follow-up had reported at baseline a smaller proportion of their network members with whom they used drugs (p < .02). Using multiple logistic regression analyses and adjusting for baseline drug use, enrollment in drug treatment, and demographic and background variables, cessation of drug use was associated with a lower proportion of personal network members in one's drug network (odds ratio [OR] = 25.4, p < .05). The data from this study suggest that network members have potential for social influence on the cessation of drug use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-473
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

Keywords

  • Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
  • Cessation of drug use
  • Crack cocaine
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Injection drug users
  • Social networks
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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