Drug use, misuse, and the urban environment

Sandro Galea, Sasha Rudenstine, David Vlahov

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    Urbanization is probably the single most important demographic shift world-wide throughout the past and the new century and represents a sentinel change from how most of the world's population has lived for the past several thousand years. As urban living becomes the predominant social context for the majority of the world's population, the very ubiquity of urban living promises to shape health directly and to indirectly affect what we typically consider risk factors or determinants of population health. Although a growing body of research is exploring how characteristics of the urban environment may be associated with health (e.g. depression) and risk behaviours (e.g. exercise patterns), relatively little research has systematically assessed how the urban environment may affect drug use and misuse. In this paper we will propose a conceptual framework for considering how different characteristics of the urban environment (e.g. collective efficacy, the built environment) may be associated with drug use and misuse, summarize the existing empiric literature that substantiates elements of this framework, and identify potential directions for future research. [Galea S, Rudenstine S, Vlahov D. Drug use, misuse and the urban environment.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)127-136
    Number of pages10
    JournalDrug and Alcohol Review
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Mar 2005


    • Cities
    • Context
    • Drug abuse
    • Drug use
    • Urban

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine (miscellaneous)
    • Health(social science)

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