Funding: NIDA R01 DA09334
Drug disorders are disproportionately high among homeless adults, and particularly among homeless women. The study addressed two emerging agendas in drug epidemiology. The first is the examination of drug use and abuse in minority and underserved populations. The second is investigation of drug use and abuse among special populations who are at high risk of drug problems, but who are not likely to be captured in household studies. To address these questions, we used a unique longitudinal database on homeless adults that incorporates an extensive set of measures on drug use and abuse, drug dependence, and drug-associated behaviors. We documented the nature, extent, and patterns of drug use and abuse in this population. Specifically, we (1) examined the relationship between drug use and the course of homelessness, and (2) investigated the mediating effects of service utilization and other variables on this relationship.