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Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2006;32(3):453-63.

Neighborhood ecology and drug dependence mortality: an analysis of New York City census tracts.

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Sociology Department, Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania 19085, USA.


Drug dependence mortality appears to be highly concentrated in certain disadvantaged populations and in certain disadvantaged areas. Using a relatively large sample of census tract data for New York City, 1991-1995 (N = 2,037), the present study examines the structural covariates of drug dependence mortality rates. Spatially lagged negative binomial regression analyses indicated considerable support for previous findings regarding the importance of poverty as a predictor of drug mortality. Furthermore, two variables especially relevant for the social disorganization and deviant opportunity perspectives in criminology exhibited significant independent effects: the neighborhood homeownership rate and the prevalence of boarded-up housing. The results support various policy initiatives concerned with the relationship between neighborhood environment and public health.

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