The inner city and drug use: Initial findings from an epidemiological study

Margaret E. Ensminger, James C. Anthony, Joan McCord

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Although scientific and policy statements regarding drugs often suggest that there are grave problems of drug use within America's inner cities, the evidence that supports these statements is often based on anecdotal or incomplete data. This study of African-American adults from the Woodlawn study followed longitudinally partially fills that gap, at least for learning more about those who spend some or all of their childhood within an inner city neighborhood. We found few differences between the lifetime prevalence of drug use and a national representative sample of adults of the same age range. Furthermore, a national household survey of African-Americans of similar age living in six central cities also reported low lifetime rates of illicit drug use. Nevertheless, those from the Woodlawn cohort had higher rates of use of illicit drugs in the past year than the national sample, especially those still living in areas with high rates of poverty. Additionally, reports of heavy drug trafficking were much greater in the inner city areas than in the suburbs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-184
Number of pages10
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 15 1997


  • Epidemiological surveys
  • Inner city drug use
  • Self reports of substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'The inner city and drug use: Initial findings from an epidemiological study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this