Exploring multiple drug use by integrating mobile health and qualitative mapping methods - An individual case study

Julia McQuoid, Johannes Thrul, Kekoa Lopez-Paguyo, Pamela M. Ling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Multiple drug use involves particular pleasures and risks, and is disproportionately practiced by some minority and socially marginalized groups. The unique patterns, intentions, and social contexts of multiple drug use for these groups are poorly understood. Methods: Our mixed method integrates geo-enabled smartphone survey data collection with a qualitative mapping interview method. This brief report presents data from one study participant to demonstrate this method's potential contributions to multiple drug use research for priority groups in different settings. Results: ‘Jason's’ data revealed the interrelated dynamics within his drug use repertoire and links between his substance use to rural life as a transgender person with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Cigarettes played a role in coping with acute stress from repeatedly being misgendered. Cannabis intoxication helped manage social interactions as a person with ASD, while ‘chasing’ with cigarettes calibrated cannabis intoxication. Methamphetamine use related to managing body dysmorphia in a rural context with poor access to transgender health services. Conclusion: This mixed method can integrate reliable and ecologically valid assessments of multiple drug use repertoires and combination patterns with the place-embedded experiences, intersecting identities, structural barriers, and intentions related to multiple drug use for different priority groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103325
JournalInternational Journal of Drug Policy
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Geographic information systems
  • ecological momentary assessment
  • polydrug use
  • qualitative research
  • sexual and gender minorites
  • social determinants of health
  • substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy


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