Association between intravenous drug use and early misbehavior

Juana M. Tomas, David Vlahov, James C. Anthony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


This investigation uses an epidemiologic strategy to examine a suspected association between misbehavior in early life and subsequent involvement in intravenous drug use. The 222 cases of i.v. drug use in this study were a subset of all persons recruited for a continuing study of drug use, HIV-1 infection, and the natural history of AIDS. It was possible to match these 222 i.v. drug users to 588 subjects from the NIMH Epidemiologic Catchment Area survey sample, for a total of 810 subjects in 60 matched sets. The matching factors were gender and census tract of residence. Conditional logistic regression models were used to estimate the degree of association between early misbehavior and i.v. drug use. The results showed a strong association between i.v. drug use and early misbehavior. For every unit increase in misbehavior score, the odds of being an i.v. drug user increased by a factor of 1.74 (P < 0.001). Compared to subjects with low misbehavior scores, those with high scores were 24.67 times more likely to be i.v. drug users (P < 0.001). Results of this study add to evidence now supporting field trials of public health strategies to modify the link between misbehavior in early life and later illicit drug use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-89
Number of pages11
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1990


  • acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
  • antisocial behavior
  • epidemiology
  • psychiatry
  • substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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