Personal and social risk factors associated with transition from heroin sniffing to heroin injection: A case-control study

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

First Committee Member

Dale D. Chitwood - Committee Chair


This dissertation employs a case-control design to examine the association of a set of personal and social domains with the transition from heroin sniffing to heroin injection using the street addict role perspective as its conceptual basis. This study has four main objectives: (a) Extend the investigation of the transition from heroin sniffing to heroin injection to a community-based, non-institutionally identified population; (b) Provide a basis for developing a theoretical framework to integrate the findings of this dissertation; (c) Provide information that informs intervention strategies to prevent heroin sniffers from transitioning to heroin; and (d) Refine some methodological aspects in the study of transition to injection by establishing eligibility criteria in this study that ensure that the injecting (cases) and sniffing (controls) heroin users are selected into groups that are mutually exclusive.The data for these analyses were drawn from a stratified network based sample of 900 drug users who were currently using heroin recruited in the streets of Miami-Dade County from July 1997 to June 1999. Findings corroborate and expand on results from previous research and suggest that several personal and social variables act as risk factors for the transition from heroin sniffing to injection.


Health Sciences, Public Health; Sociology, Individual and Family Studies; Sociology, Public and Social Welfare

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