Race, structural disadvantage, and illicit drug use among arrestees

Jonathon A. Cooper, Andrew M. Fox, Nancy Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Although structural disadvantage has been found to predict both crime and illicit drug use, its pattern relative to methamphetamine use is not clear. To gain further insight into the relationship between structural disadvantage and methamphetamine use, the current study examines how structural disadvantage, as a macro-level risk factor, predicts methamphetamine use relative to other illicit drug use among a national sample of male arrestees. The study also examines the interaction between race/ethnicity, structural disadvantage, and methamphetamine use, vis-à-vis that of other drugs. Findings reveal that Black and Latino arrestees were more likely than Whites to test positive for marijuana, cocaine, and opiates than methamphetamine. Also, Whites in less disadvantaged areas were more likely than similarly situated Blacks to test positive for methamphetamine than marijuana, cocaine, and opiates. Policy implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-39
Number of pages22
JournalCriminal Justice Policy Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • ADAM
  • cocaine
  • marijuana
  • methamphetamine
  • opiates
  • race
  • structural disadvantage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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