Correlates of Engaging in Drug Distribution in a National Sample

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Abstract

In this study, we examined self-reported behaviors and characteristics of individuals involved in drug distribution to identify correlates of engaging in drug-distribution behaviors. Correlates of interest included demographic characteristics, substance-use patterns, psychological impairment, and criminal involvement. Data from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, 2013) were used for analyses (N = 55,108). A logistic regression analysis distinguished those who have sold drugs from those who have not sold drugs to identify correlates of engaging in drug distribution. Results showed that recency of substance use, severity of substance use, criminal activity, mental health diagnoses, substance-use treatment, and arrest history were all significantly associated with distribution behaviors. Findings indicate the importance of accounting for the heterogeneous characteristics of individuals involved in distribution behaviors when considering treatment options or criminal proceedings.

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